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Thread: automatic watergun

  1. automatic watergun

    I want to build an automatic watergun to keep the cats off the counter even when we're gone or asleep. My plan is to fit the cats with reflective collars, and then use a webcam to hose down bright moving things. Obviously it'll have to have some sort of light near the camera for that to work, and it's probably easiest if the camera is attached to the barrel. So I need to run a motor (or valve on a pressurized container), and a servo (two if I get fancy). The computer is easy to get. I can get the motor, tubing, and nozzle by gutting a battery-powered watergun. (There's got to be a cheaper / less wasteful way, however.) They probably have appropriate servo(s) and controllers here. See anything I've forgotten? Thanks.

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    Re: automatic watergun

    This sounds like a fun/funny project. But I was thinking that there must be far cleaner ways to accomplish your goal. Such as sounds cats don't like or something that rattles maybe. I would want to avoid spraying water all over my kitchen at all costs, but that's me.

    Lets see, maybe you can capture a feed from an infrared security camera and use roborealm as a trigger. Or you might be able to use an array of simple IR range sensors as invisible trip lines. Phidgets has an analog motion sensor also.

    You will probably need to set up some kind of webcam to capture footage for research to see what works and what doesn't. If you figure it out be sure to let us know. I have a good friend who has cat rage* that needs your device.


    * cat rage: similar to road rage where a friend during phone calls breaks the conversation to scream nonsense in your ear. IE: "So I was talking to Brian and... HEY! YOU SEE ME TRYING TO MERGE PAL!!! MOVE OVER... Anyway I was talking to Brian." or, the cat version "Are you going to the party on frida... GET OFF THE BOOKSHELF MUFFIN!! I SWEAR TO GOD!! Yeah, friday, are you going?"

  3. Re: automatic watergun

    But I was thinking that there must be far cleaner ways to accomplish your goal. Such as sounds cats don't like or something that rattles maybe.
    Well, one cat's deaf, so sound's out. Maybe a projectile that isn't harmful but is annoying (like http://www.thinkgeek.com/interests/usb/8a0f/ but witth more than 4 shots)?

    I would want to avoid spraying water all over my kitchen at all costs, but that's me.
    As long as I land the shot, it doesn't matter. *evil grin*

    Lets see, maybe you can capture a feed from an infrared security camera
    Would that need an IR LED? Not that that's a big deal...

    Or you might be able to use an array of simple IR range sensors as invisible trip lines.
    Yeah, I'd hate to sic it on a human. It's supposed to be OK for us to use the counter.

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    Re: automatic watergun

    What I had in mind was a USB based night vision security camera like this.

    >>>Yeah, I'd hate to sic it on a human. It's supposed to be OK for us to use the counter.

    I was assuming that there would be an on off switch somewhere to save the humans

    What about an Air in a Can blaster device? That should probably freak out a cat. (even deaf ones) You could maybe buy one of the IR sensor kits and use that to place 4 or 8 triplines around the counters and tie each one to an air can that covers that area. A simple program could record each trip event with time and that security camera I found actually records only when there is motion I think so that could run completely independently capturing the evidence

    Can anyone else think of stuff that would create a poof of air that may be easier than and air can with a servo? An empty paintball gun comes to mind, but that's a little extreme. (Plus people are trying to sleep) Maybe a CO2 powered pellet gun? Something that can be powered by a relay would be ideal.

  5. Re: automatic watergun

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    * cat rage: similar to road rage where a friend during phone calls breaks the conversation to scream nonsense in your ear. IE: "So I was talking to Brian and... HEY! YOU SEE ME TRYING TO MERGE PAL!!! MOVE OVER... Anyway I was talking to Brian." or, the cat version "Are you going to the party on frida... GET OFF THE BOOKSHELF MUFFIN!! I SWEAR TO GOD!! Yeah, friday, are you going?"
    Thats really funny. And why thats really funny is because my mom does that.

    Anyway I was just thinking wouldnt you get shot a lot for holding a spoon, fork, knife, ect. It seems like there are too many shiny things in a kitchen. But otherwise nice concept.
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    Re: automatic watergun

    Quote Originally Posted by eben View Post
    Would that need an IR LED? Not that that's a big deal...
    Okay, I finally got what you meant by that, an LED on the cat. For all my ideas I was thinking of a system that is disarmed when humans are around. I think trying to specifically identify cat verse human would be too difficult. If you just manual turned the system on every time you left for awhile and did this for a month I'm thinking that would make the cats quit forever. Sort of Pavlov's dogs training.

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    Re: automatic watergun

    I think trying to specifically identify cat verse human would be too difficult.
    I think RoboRealm can do this.... Tyberius?

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

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    Re: automatic watergun

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I think RoboRealm can do this.... Tyberius?
    No, probably not. Not strictly between humans and cats. Neither have defining characteristics that are distinguishable by roborealm. Easier to give the cats a certain color collar, and have roborealm identify that.

  9. Re: automatic watergun

    > Would that need an IR LED? Not that that's a big deal...

    Okay, I finally got what you meant by that, an LED on the cat.
    Actually, I was thinking illumination for an IR camera. I have some amulets (? dunno if that's the right word; acorn-size thingies that hang from the collar) that originally came with a cat door; they flash IR every few seconds.

    So theoretically I don't need any extra light: if it happens to be too dark and the camera sees _anything_, it's a cat.

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    Re: automatic watergun

    I can't resist this thread, even if it's old...

    Preferred method:

    3v glow plug
    small copper tube
    small ball of flash cotton
    small wad of flash paper

    I could build that to track the cats from just a stand-alone make controller, a PIR motion sensor, and use the motor drivers on the make controller to fire the glow-plug.

    Here, Kitty Kitty! PHOOOOSH. Singed kitty.

    The big downside is that burned hair smell...

    So we move on (assuming we don't want to talk about building carbon-arc furnaces for a more permanent fix...):

    You're looking for a QEV - Quick Exhaust Valve.

    Dirt simple - an air resevoir, a QEV (in this case, either a 3/4" or 1" irrigation valve), and a bunch of PVC.

    You'd need to make a PVC piston, but that's pretty simple too.

    The QEV would be fired with a relay from a servo controller or with a motor controller.

    With simple tools, this is a ~3hr project. Let me know if you want me to do a walkthrough.

    PM if you want to know how to add lighter fluid and an igniter... :P

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