Kinect Controlled Creepy Cat Eyes


Today's project is a combined hardware/software project, using Arduino, simple-openni, a little arts and crafts and of course a Kinect to build a project that will help you creep out your friends... (found via Hack-a-Day's post, Creepy Cat Eyes with a Microsoft Kinect)

Tracking Cat Eyes via Kinect


This instructable was made as part of the CS graduate course "Tangible Interactive Computing" at the University of Maryland, College Park taught by Professor Jon Froehlich. The course focused on exploring the materiality of interactive computing and, in the words of MIT Professor Hiroshii Ishii, sought to "seamlessly couple the dual worlds of bits and atoms. Please visit for more details.

This project involved the use of Microsoft Kinect and servo motors. Although a simple idea, you are guaranteed to get some reactions! As you probably guessed from the title, the general idea behind this project was to use a Kinect to track movement, and then use output from the Kinect to make cat eyes follow people as they walk by.

Shopping List

  1. Creepy Poster (we suggest a cat poster)
  2. 2x 1 1/2" Wooden Balls
  3. Paint
  4. 2x Standard Servo TowerPro SG-5010 Motors
  5. 8xAA Batteries (battery case optional)
  6. Arduino Uno
  7. IC Breadboard
  8. Microsoft Kinect
  9. Hot Glue Gun

Now for the final step. Programming! On the Arduino side, a Servo library was used. This abstracts out most of the details required to understand how servos truly operate.

Processing was used to work with the Kinect, due to its simplicity. Specifically, a processing library called simple-openni was used to interface with the Microsoft Kinect. Although not currently supporting as many verbose Kinect features as other languages (i.e. C#, C++) and documentation is somewhat lacking, it is a good choice to use as the only information we seek is basic tracking information. There is sufficient amount of code examples by the author to skim through as well.

Feel free to use the attached code as a starting point.

Now go out and have some fun with people!

Project Information URL:

Project Source URL:

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