MouseAir Raspberry Pi Project Page

MouseAir

MouseAir Version 2.0

The MouseAir Project is complete!  It loads toy mice and fires them off for the cat.

However ridiculous that sounds.

The MouseAir system is built around a Raspberry Pi controlling all the devices and connected to an iPad based control panel using RasPiConnect via a WiFi connection. We are using a Pi Camera on a pan / tilt structure to capture the cat events, examine the launching mechanism for jams, motion detection and even streaming video.  See an early mouse launch here.

The Mouse Air project has been around in various stages since April of 2014. The goal of the project (conceived in a bar, the Fedora in Coeur d’Alene Idaho and named by Sarah, the most excellent bartender there.  And some BlueMoon Beer.) was to be able to detect a cat walking by and fire a mouse.  It worked!  The first

MouseAir

MouseAir V2 3D Printed Box

version was physically large and complex, but fun!  I had so much response (including the response from the Cat) to that article and project from a variety of sources, that I decided to do a redesign of MouseAir incorporating what I had learned from the project. I aggressively redesigned to eliminate unneeded hardware and drive down the cost and size. To the right is a picture of the 3D Printed box of MouseAir V2.  The 3D Printing of the box was a big undertaking because I had to learn the whole technology.  More on that learning process and what I found out later.

You can see the Mouse Launching System (servo motor pushing the mouse between the rapidly spinning DC motors) and the Mouse Loading System (a conveyor belt – again driven by a servo motor) that will drop the mice into the mouse launching box.  The conveyor belt is the last thing that needs a little work.  It needs a tensioning system that can be changed if the belt is a little longer or shorter than the standard 201mm.  The final (hopefully) print came out this morning and I’ll be testing it this weekend.  Here is a video of the Mouse project launching a mouse.


You can also see the Pi Camera sticking up above the box with the Pan and Tilt motors to move it around, under control of the Pi.  There is an ultrasonic sensor in the front of the box.  Below is a comparison of Version 1 and Version 2 project.  A most significant size and cost reduction.

MouseAir

MouseAir V1 versus MouseAir V2

Blog Posts On MouseAir

The list of all Blog Postings on MouseAir on SwitchDoc Labs

Articles On MouseAir

rpg_us_05-2014_1Raspberry Pi Geek Magazine Issue 5 – MouseAir Launches Toy Mice under the Raspberry Pi Control

 

 

 

 

rpg_us_08-2014_1Raspberry Pi Geek Magazine Issue 8 – Rebuilding the MouseAir Cat Toy Launching with 3D Printing

 

 

 

 

MagPi-25-Cover1The MagPi Issue 25 – MouseAir Control Panel

raspberry_pi_logo_rgb_552x650-212x250The RaspberryPi Foundations Article on MouseAir

Awards for MouseAir

IMG_0543Brit+CO – MouseAir Makes the List of the 25 Most Creative Raspberry Pi Projects

Under the Hood of MouseAir V2

Here is a picture of the insides of the project. You can see the two servo motors, the MouseAir LED, Motor and Servo Motor control PCB and the Raspberry Pi brains of the whole project.  The control panel for MouseAir V2 was done with RasPiConnect and is shown below.  A tutorial for building this control panel is here.

MouseAir

MouseAir V2 Under the Hood

MouseAir Control Panel

MouseAir Control Panel

More on the conveyor belt and launching system and software next time.  Below is the current MouseAir V2 block diagram.

MouseAir Raspberry Pi

You can also see the Pi Camera sticking up above the box with the Pan and Tilt motors to move it around, under control of the Pi.  There is an ultrasonic sensor in the front of the box.  Below is a comparison of Version 1 and Version 2 project.  A most significant size and cost reduction.

MouseAir

MouseAir V1 versus MouseAir V2

%d bloggers like this: