My first encounter with one of these cats was in a sushi restaurant in Sweden as a kid. Since then I’ve found them cute and pleasant. I wanted to give one of these cat a purpose other than bringing luck and fortune. Hence: a Maneki-neko door bell.
I took it apart and replaced the weak magnet actuator with a servo. With enhanced cat biceps it was now strong enough to pull a chain from a necklace attached to a ship brass bell. Next I figured out how to route a signal from my apartment door phone to the cat’s arduino. It pulls to ground whenever the door is called from the gate. There is also a trigger switch so that I can show off the action or use it as a “food is ready” chime.