Skip to main content

Interactive installation, catboard

Catboard, an interactive sound piece.
As you walk towards the curious and gawkish object, it begins to emit a soft purring sound. This tells you that the object is responsive and encourages further interaction. If you stroke the fur, it will emit distorted meow sounds that are manipulated by the direction your hand moves. Pushing on the object will also alter the sounds, but pressing too hard will make 'Catboard' hiss.

4 conductive thread,capacity-sensor
4 pressure sensors
1 distance sensor & MP3 shield
Mac mini & software Max MSP & Arduino

Process: To make stroking interactive, we sewed conductive thread into the fur in four different circuits. Each circuit was attached to a capacity sensor with readings being taken by an Arduino. 

To add another dimension we put four pressure sensors in the foam beneath the fur that also sent readings of how hard the foam was being pressed to the Arduino. The readings from these sensors were then sent from the Arduino software to Max, a visual programming and dataflow environment, often used for sound and visual installations. We used Max MSP to create effects for the sounds and to control the way sounds were

played back. For instance, we programmed a screech sound to be emitted only if it was pushed over a certain degree. We ran Max off a Mac mini hidden inside the body of 'Catboard'.
We had a further Arduino with a distance sensor and MP3 shield to trigger the purring sound as someone approaches the object.