Presentational video

Senne Van den Broeck : January 10, 2016 16:18 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015, Uncategorized

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Senne Van den Broeck : January 10, 2016 16:17 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

The name of the game is “Whac-A-Mouse”, which is derived from its 80′s counterpart; the “Whac-A-Mole” arcade game.

The Whac-A-Mouse logo had to be a bit more refined, as the product itself will most likely cost quite some money and is aimed towards people who love to have a design cat toy in their home. Below is the final logo:

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Treat shooter

Senne Van den Broeck : January 10, 2016 16:13 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

The treat shooter system is loosely based on that of a revolver: the treats are loaded in designated holes of acircular gear that is driven by a servo engine. This engine rotates the barrel so that the treat falls into the hole, or the “chamber”, where it is catapulted by a solenoid with plunger. The whole system can be seen below, as well as in this video.

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Finishing touch

Senne Van den Broeck : January 10, 2016 16:06 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

To ensure that the cat cannot reach any vital parts of the electronics, a cover has been made out of sturdy cardboard. This cardboard has been covered with a felt-like textile, to give the animals a warm and soft feeling. This appeared to work really well, as our test cat immediately laid herself on top of the game even before we powered it on.

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Final prototype

Senne Van den Broeck : January 10, 2016 15:57 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

Below shows the final prototype, with all electronics installed. The base consists of a frame lasercut in MDF, in which all solenoids and the treat shooting system are connected.

The final design for the pop-up system consists of one solenoid per mouse, connected to an aluminium profile to keep the system lightweight. The solenoid pulls the profile down, creating a momentum allowing the mouse on the other end to pop up fast.

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Flowchart of the Game

EwoutDevos : January 7, 2016 20:08 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

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Final app

EwoutDevos : January 7, 2016 14:51 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

In the previous post concerning the app, the functionality of the app was explained. The app gives the user the possibility to interact with his Whac-a-Mouse game. The pictures below show the graphical user interface of the app and it’s flowchart. The mice and the label on the screen can be used as a button. When Each mouse corresponds with a mouse in the game and the label “Treat” is used to shoot a treat. Each button click corresponds with a specific commando which is send to the game using UDP. After sending the commando, the app waits until the game responds whether the mouse was hit or missed. Corresponding to the response of the game, the button takes a certain value (shown below in the images). The game also responds when a treat is shot.

Button when mouse was missed

Button when mouse was hit

The flowchart of the app

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Frame + mouse

Niki Verbrugghe : December 11, 2015 12:26 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

The innner frame of our whack a mouse system was drawn and lasercutted :





A first mouse puppet was made in the final dimensions:

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Testing solanoids

Niki Verbrugghe : December 11, 2015 11:36 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

We have tested 3 differend kinds of solenoids:


This is the smallest one, he’s clearly not strong enough.

This solenoid will be use for the treat shooting system.

No datasheet found.

Movie: JF0730 setup


HMF is a bit stronger, it can lift one weight.

Price: €13,89


Movie: HMF Setup


TDS is the stronges one of the tesded solenoids, it can lift wo weights.

This is the one we will use for the pop up mouse setup.

Price: €11,85


Movie: TDS Setup

Movie: Pop up mouse with TDS solenoid


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Testing mouse setup

Niki Verbrugghe : December 7, 2015 15:52 : Case16_2015, Mechatronics Design 2015

We made a mouse puppet and added the thinfoil sensor.
In the movie you can see that whenever the mouse is het the led goes on/off.
You can also see the variation in values in the screen when the mouse is hit.
We can tweek the system so the cat doesn’t even have to hit the mouse propperly to be detected (by playing with the different value settings).
Mouse puppet
Movie testing mouse setup

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