You have probably seen one of the adorable cats in the video above or in the picture below while out on the town: Lucky Cats. What is a Lucky Cat? Via Wikipedia:
The maneki-neko (Japanese: 招き猫, literally "beckoning cat") is a common Japanese figurine (lucky charm, talisman) which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. In modern times, they are usually made of ceramic or plastic. The figurine depicts a cat (traditionally a calico Japanese Bobtail) beckoning with an upright paw, and is usually displayed in—often at the entrance of—shops, restaurants, pachinko parlors, and other businesses. Some of the sculptures are electric or battery-powered and have a slow-moving paw beckoning.
Maneki-neko comes in different colors, styles and degrees of ornateness. Common colors are white, black, gold and sometimes red. In addition to ceramic figurines, maneki-neko can be found as keychains, piggy banks, air fresheners, house-plant pots, and miscellaneous ornaments, as well as large statues. It is also sometimes incorrectly called the "Chinese lucky cat" because of its popularity among Chinese merchants.
This project will replicate a waving Lucky Cat with papercraft, an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express microcontroller, and a servo motor to wave the cat's paw.
PROJECT UPDATE: An additional variation with a "Lucky Pig" for lunar New Year.
The Circuit Playground Express may be coded in Microsoft MakeCode, CircuitPython, or the Arduino IDE. This guide will show you the code for MakeCode and CircuitPython.
Besides the parts above, you will want to have the following:
- Piece of cardboard, approximately 10" x 10 " (25 cm x 25 cm)
- Print of cat (template downloadable in this guide)
- A half a straw, popsicle stick, or small piece of wood to brace the cat arm
- Scissors or craft knife
- Tape and/or glue