If you’ve ever wanted to own your own open-source cat, this cute Indiegogo project might be for you. The project, based on something called the Open Cat, is a laser-cut cat that walks and “learns” and can even connect to a Raspberry Pi. Out of the box a complex motion controller allows the kitten to perform lifelike behaviors like balancing, walking and nuzzling.
“Nybble’s motion is driven by an Arduino compatible microcontroller. It stores instinctive ‘muscle memory’ to move around,” wrote its creator, Rongzhong Li. “An optional AI chip, such as Raspberry Pi can be mounted on top of Nybble’s back, to help Nybble with perception and decision. You can program in your favorite language, and direct Nybble walk around simply by sending short commands, such as ‘walk’ or ‘turn left.’”
The cat is surprisingly cute and the life-like movements make it look far more sophisticated than your average toy. You can get a single Nybble for $200 and the team aims to ship in April 2019. You also can just build your own cat for free if you have access to a laser cutter and a few other tools, but the kit itself includes a motion board and complete instructions, which makes the case for paying for a new Nybble pretty compelling. I, for one, welcome our robotic feline overlords.
By John Biggs