Earlier this year, videos circulated revealing prototypes of Japanese “nekomimi”1 — robotic, wearable cat costume ears that bend, twist and re-orient based on a wearer’s mood and brain activity. This impressive, if whimsical, engineering feat makes a great deal more sense within the context of the endless repetition of the motif of catgirls in Japanese manga, anime and cosplay.2 But even beyond these cultural associations, anyone who has spent time with a housecat has probably noticed the expressive qualities of cat ears.
Ever since the high-end tech demos surfaced, DIY Makers world-over have been experimenting with how to accomplish this type of project using components at least a few orders of magnitude cheaper than research-grade brain scanning equipment. In fact, MakerBot R&D staffer and anime-fan Benjamin Rockhold has a folder full of mechanical and arduino sketches to address this very chibi-awesome design challenge.3
Well, MakerBot Operator Josh DiMauro not only beat everyone to the punch, he has brought the whole project in at a price that has kickstarted an entire branch of DIY, affordable brain-mappable appendages with his MindWave Cat Ears project on Thingiverse. And he was able to accomplish his mission quickly over the course of scores of iterations thanks to his MakerBot Cupcake!
Follow below the fold for a quick interview with Josh in the wake the posting of his own tech demo video (at the head of this article).
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|Tagged with||Arduino, brain scan, cat, cat ears, catgirl, mind-control, Thingiverse||One comment|