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SocialCat #InventForGood

by dolf

Published on March 26, 2016

Every year over 1,500,000 cats are euthanized in shelters across the United States. One of the main reasons a cat doesn't get adopted is because it is scared of humans and not friendly. SocialCat wants to solve this problem. It helps socialize cats by playing calming human voices and soothing music when a cat eats. The cat learns to associate human voices with the positive experience of eating. Since all animals love their food, this is a VERY good thing. SocialCat is geared towards shelters and people who work with outdoor cats who aren't used to humans, but anyone who wants a friendlier more social cat can use it.  The goal of SocialCat to make cats more social, more friendly, increase their chances for adoption, and help reduce the number of cats that are euthanized every year. The configuration is Battery > Power Bit > Motion Trigger > TimeOut > Wire > MP3 Player > Speaker. #InventForGood 

Duration: Several Hours

How To Make It

STEP 1 : Gather Bits, Materials & Equipment

Bits needed: 9 Volt Battery > Power Bit > Motion Trigger > TimeOut > Wire > MP3 Player > Speaker Items needed: A standard gravity feeder & Velcro Other equipment: A way to record voice and music. In this case, an iPad, Line 6 MobileKeys, and a microphone were used with GarageBand.

STEP 2 : Record voice and music

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Record clips of yourself talking in a soothing voice. Also record soft, quiet classic music on piano or harp. (If you aren't musically talented, you can use a prerecorded mp3. After recording pieces in mp3 format, copy them over to the microSD card included with the Littlebits MP3 player. Be sure to erase the demo files on the disk. Name your files so that they start with an increasing sequential pattern: Example: 1 - Soothing Voice A.mp3, 2 - Piano A.mp3, 3 - Soothing Voice B.mp3, 4 - Harp A.mp3. Once complete, insert the microSD back into the LittleBits mp3 player. Set the MODE of the mp3 player to ALL.

STEP 3 : Assemble Bits onto a Mounting Board

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Put your Littlebits onto a single Mounting Board in the following configuration: Battery > Power Bit > Motion Trigger > TimeOut > Wire > MP3 Player > Speaker. Note: If you want a less sensitive Motion Trigger use one of the many tricks out there to limit the sensitivity. Max used a cap from a bottle of hot sauce. It fit perfectly.

STEP 4 : Adjust TimeOut bit

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The Motion Trigger sends a 3 second pulse. In order to prevent choppiness, adjust the TimeOut bit for a longer duration 15-20 seconds. Use the included screwdriver to adjust the TIME knob. This will take a little trial and error. This will play the mp3 file for a longer period of time when triggered by the Motion Trigger. Also, make sure TimeOut is switched to OFF-ON.

STEP 5 : Velcro Velcro Velcro

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Picture 2

Put Velcro on the back of the Mounting Board and on the front of Gravity Feeder. Attach the board and you are ready to go save some cats!

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