Starfish Cat: Your Lovecraftian Furby-like Friend

Starfish Cat comes from the stars. Or the ocean. Or he escaped from some kind of secret laboratory. We're not really sure.

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The Starfish Cat is an animatronic, warmth-seeking robot. He mewls pathetically when you pick him up and stretches his tiny claws in the direction of your body heat. If you press him close to your body, you can feel him purr and try to suckle you. (He is definitely trying to suckle you and not attempting to taste your flesh or teeth his nascent fangs.)

Much like a mullet, Starfish Cat is business up front and a party in the back, especially if your idea of a party is having an alien eat your face. His creepily symmetric base contains 5 IR temperature sensors to "see" your body heat. He has five servos-- one on each arm to actuate his adorable 3D-printed claws.

If you open Starfish Cat (which we at My Little Android recommend for occasional maintenance), you can dig past his flexible skeleton and into his core, where he stores his battery, voice box (soundFX board and speaker), and lungs (pneumatic motor).

Are you ready for your new best friend?

Starfish Cat has lovely claws that he kneads like a cute kitty when he feels your body heat on his starfish arms:

If you hold him close to you, you can feel him trying to suckle!

He has many interesting parts!

He is looking for love!

Bring him to life as your new best friend!

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 4.07 MB - 02/20/2017 at 19:18


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 97.15 kB - 02/20/2017 at 19:18


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 23.42 kB - 02/20/2017 at 19:18


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 45.69 kB - 02/20/2017 at 19:18


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 55.55 kB - 02/20/2017 at 19:18


View all 9 files

  • 1 × Particle Photon Or any similar arduino-esque microcontroller
  • 2 × USB to micro-USB cable For programming, and then later for other things
  • 1 × Switch For turning the power on and off
  • 1 × USB Battery Just for chargin'
  • 5 × Microservo (3.0V-7.2V) Scratchy scratchy

View all 23 components

  • 1
    Step 1

    Print mold and pour starfish base. Suspend 2" x 1" pieces of scrap fabric in the base when it is partially set. Leave the base to set fully. When it is set, punch out 1/4" holes using a sharp piece of pipe.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Create the voice and brains of the starfish. Load the code from starfish-cat.ino onto his brains (the Particle Photon microcontroller) and add meowing sound effects (from your own kitty if possible!) onto the Adafruit Audio SoundFX board and hook it up to the speaker. Adafruit has an awesome tutorial for this, if you have never done it before!

  • 3
    Step 3

    Make your Starfish Cat's eyes. Make it so that your Starfish Cat can see in the dark! Get your 5 IR temperature sensors. You'll need to change the addresses using an arduino, so that your Cat can tell what he's looking at. To make it fit the code, label the sensors 0 through 4 and change the addresses to:

    Sensor 0: 0x40

    Sensor 1: 0x45

    Sensor 2: 0x50

    Sensor 3: 0x55

    Sensor 4: 0x5A

View all 10 instructions

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Mr. Steve Charlesworth wrote 04/27/2018 at 20:03 point

This is wonderful. I found out about it via the 'Embedded' podcast. Inspiring!

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AVR wrote 03/16/2017 at 18:21 point

very nicely done, I really like that you printed a mold to make the soft part, great way to utilize 3D printing. Also the description is well written and entertaining, ever consider writing for Hackaday? 

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AVR wrote 03/24/2017 at 17:33 point

well look at that, one week later, I think you have a nice writing style! :)

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Jarrett wrote 02/21/2017 at 19:54 point

I'm torn between being slightly disturbed, and really wanting one.

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Emach00 wrote 02/21/2017 at 18:52 point

And I've enjoyed every one of them. I'm looking for a Fallout-esque horror video with cheesy voiceovers and music. 

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Christine wrote 02/21/2017 at 18:33 point

Lots of terrifying gifs posted! :)

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Emach00 wrote 02/20/2017 at 20:52 point

Mother of god, please post a video of this being in action. :)

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