‘Cat Car‘ is a device created by Sam Brenner for his final ITP project that lets owners attempt to “drive” their cats using a steering wheel. By turning the wheel, they control a laser pointer that the cat can follow. This “feline fitness frenzy” was intended as a cat exercise toy. The laser pointer is attached to a harness worn by the cat, and Brenner notes that “the safety and wellbeing of the cats involved was my top priority in testing this project”.
Cat Car uses a steering wheel controller with three main components: an Arduino, a gyroscope/accelerometer, and an XBee for wirelessly communicating with the cat harness. Engadget reports that the movements control a servo on the back of the cat, which moves around the laser pointer. This encourages the cat to follow its path, thus allowing the user to remotely control their pet. You can see it in action and watch the rather subdued reactions from the cats in the video below: