LOLcatcam
June 3, 2007 10:01 AM   Subscribe

CatCam is exactly what it sounds like. A crappy digital camera, Atmel Attiny13 and a little electronics skill are all it takes to get your cat photoblogging. The results are pretty great. via Hackaday and possibly also Baby_Balrog
posted by tracert (90 comments total) 91 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pretty cool, especially if you've ever wished you could spend 30% or more of your time hanging out under cars.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:05 AM on June 3, 2007


Everyday, Wolfday. Everyday.
posted by tracert at 10:06 AM on June 3, 2007


Oops, I totally got your name wrong. Apologies, sir.
posted by tracert at 10:08 AM on June 3, 2007


Mr. Lee's Trip 5: CatCam catches J.Perthold's wife "having relations" with the FedEx delivery man!
posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on June 3, 2007


I so want one.
posted by signal at 10:09 AM on June 3, 2007


Well -- he does get to be a Wolf all day long -- and not just 30% of the time!
posted by ericb at 10:10 AM on June 3, 2007


BTW -- this CatCam is the feline version of Microsoft's SenseCam.
posted by ericb at 10:13 AM on June 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think the captions really make this. The writer has a good imagination.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:15 AM on June 3, 2007


Man, these are great.
posted by cortex at 10:16 AM on June 3, 2007


I love all of the pictures of Mr. Lee's encounters with other cats.
posted by ericb at 10:17 AM on June 3, 2007


Awesome post, thank you for finding this.
posted by interrobang at 10:19 AM on June 3, 2007


I never think in actual, ground-level detail about the everyday hazards and/or obstacles that outdoor cats get themselves into. This is a nice little exposé series he's got going here. I was especially struck by the social network of other random cats.
posted by mykescipark at 10:23 AM on June 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


That cat takes better pictures than most people I know.
posted by ninjew at 10:23 AM on June 3, 2007


[tig]
posted by sciurus at 10:29 AM on June 3, 2007


Great find.

I'd love to outfit all 3 of my cats with a live feed I could monitor remotely, picture-in-picture style.
posted by porn in the woods at 10:29 AM on June 3, 2007


I was half expecting to see all his cat pals walking upright and playing cards only dropping down to all fours when a human comes a long.
posted by PenDevil at 10:32 AM on June 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I confess, I thought this might have been a put-on until I saw the photo with this caption:

Thirsty ?! Now I know why the cat sheldom drink at home

A cat-lap close-up? I'm sold. Very good stuff!

I wonder, though, why there is an American quarter coin in one of the photos while some of the text is in German?
posted by Tube at 10:33 AM on June 3, 2007


1. Cats
2. ???
3. Add to favorites
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:39 AM on June 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Great post. We need these on our moderators.

I want more CortexCam.

Thirsty Hungry ?! Now I know why the cortex sheldom drink eat dougnuts at home.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:42 AM on June 3, 2007


I too love the time spent hanging out with cat buddies. It all reminds me a little of being a kid, and playing outdoors, and exploring hidden places.
posted by MythMaker at 10:42 AM on June 3, 2007


Although I didn't spend so much time hiding out underneath cars.
posted by MythMaker at 10:44 AM on June 3, 2007


But seriously, good post. I love stuff like this.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:45 AM on June 3, 2007


This is really wonderful, and I too am impressed by how many other cats Mr. Lee hangs out with.

And I like that he apparently spent an hour watching the birdfeeder.
posted by maggiemaggie at 10:46 AM on June 3, 2007


Great post. We need these on our moderators.

Yeah, but screenshots every few minutes. Sweet.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:49 AM on June 3, 2007


I've gotta remember to look under my car more often.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:49 AM on June 3, 2007


Awesome! I had a big stupid smile on my face the whole time. And it quickly turned to a scowl when I realized that cat takes better pictures than I do!!!!
posted by The Deej at 10:51 AM on June 3, 2007


This is totally neat. I wonder if Mr. Lee is neutered or are we gonna see some cat-porn-in-the-woods.
posted by Anything at 10:53 AM on June 3, 2007


Wow. This is five kinds of awesome.
posted by bigbigdog at 10:53 AM on June 3, 2007


Is anybody else incredibly relieved that the blog wasn't written in Cat Macro?
posted by louche mustachio at 11:01 AM on June 3, 2007


This confirms my suspicion that Big Brother is a pussy.
posted by srboisvert at 11:02 AM on June 3, 2007


Heh, I would have loved this when I was a child; imagining I was a cat, crawling through forgotten spaces and hidden places.
Nice.
posted by jouke at 11:08 AM on June 3, 2007


This is great. This is why I visit metafilter.

I also love the photo of him posing with the camera. Its like he;s trying to look dignified with this wacky thing on his neck.

I'm also curious about the interval. Is it 10 minutes? 1 minute? That snake photo is an incredible coincidence if the interval was high.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:16 AM on June 3, 2007


This makes the interwebs worthwhile. Cats hangin under cars. Awesome.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:17 AM on June 3, 2007


I'm also curious about the interval. Is it 10 minutes? 1 minute?

"Additional improvements: ....One charge cycle provided more than 48 hours of operation with a trigger sequence of 1 Minute!"
posted by ericb at 11:29 AM on June 3, 2007


Ah ok, thanks! I'd love to see this guy augment the cam to include a simple GPS device and get the coordinates of every photo taken. Then build a "cat map" of paths the cat takes. Maybe marry it with google maps. Maybe even get other cats in on this and we can start seeing quite a bit on how semi-feral cats get around, where they go, and what they do.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:31 AM on June 3, 2007


It would also be cool if he could get video capture, instead of snapshots.
posted by ericb at 11:34 AM on June 3, 2007


I think J.P. and Mr. Lee currently live stateside, Tube. The houses and landscape look like an American suburban neighborhood. If you poke around the rest of his site some of it's in German and some of it's in English.

As an aside, I have the wonderawful camera he modded for this project! I got it for, like, $5 before I had a cellphone so I could have a cheap digital with me in my pocket. It's craptastic!
posted by mwhybark at 11:37 AM on June 3, 2007


Ah ok, thanks! I'd love to see this guy augment the cam to include a simple GPS device and get the coordinates of every photo taken

I can sense a Google Earth/Maps mashup coming on...

Fun post, thanks for this.
posted by Zinger at 11:39 AM on June 3, 2007


augment the cam to include a simple GPS device and get the coordinates of every photo taken

Hmmm...parents are already shelling out for devices to monitor their teen's driving performance. Next-up -- TeenagerCamTM.
posted by ericb at 11:39 AM on June 3, 2007


I seem to remember a similar thing being done to a great white shark years ago... maybe I saw it on the Discovery Channel. Some researchers captured and sedated it, attached a small video camera to its dorsal fin, and set it loose in the open ocean. Don't know, I could be wrong.
posted by Neilopolis at 11:40 AM on June 3, 2007


The snake photo isn't all that surprising considering it's a thing of interest, and a cat will mess with something like that for awhile. Cat brains after all.

This is really great, and well done. I like it!
posted by Eekacat at 11:41 AM on June 3, 2007


Oh my, I just Googled the term TeenagerCam -- and found this:

TeenagerCam:
"Ever wonder what your teenage kids are doing after school, while your at work? Are they doing things you would not approve of? Is your house a hang out for the neighborhood after school? Like the above described NannyCam, our disguised and discreet video recording systems become very useful in the monitoring of your home, while your away."
posted by ericb at 11:42 AM on June 3, 2007


1.) Tie video on cat
2.) Collect random cat porn
3.) ???
4.) Profit!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:44 AM on June 3, 2007


A Day in the Life of a Cat.
posted by ericb at 11:44 AM on June 3, 2007


GPS or video would be pretty cool, but I think impossible given the power and weight requirements. Somehow, I don't think Mr. Lee would enjoy having a 6 cell lithium ion battery taped to his head. But maybe, I don't know. Cats are weird.
posted by tracert at 11:45 AM on June 3, 2007


I love the guy's narrative of how he did it. He's a good writer.

You can not imagine what kind of requirements have to be fulfilled if you want to equip your cat with a camera. I built a small housing out of plastic plates and put it on the collar of the cat for evaluation purpose. This housing was last seen as the cat walked out of the door... Probably the wires I used for attaching were not strong enough. Or someone released the cat from the interesting looking piece.

The last line is excellent. :)
posted by frobozz at 11:46 AM on June 3, 2007


(By the way, can anyone read what's written on the camera? All I can make out is 'thank you.')
posted by frobozz at 11:49 AM on June 3, 2007


(By the way, can anyone read what's written on the camera? All I can make out is 'thank you.')

I've been pondering that, as well. Does it start -- "Please return to xxxxx xxxx?"
posted by ericb at 11:50 AM on June 3, 2007


I think J.P. and Mr. Lee currently live stateside, Tube. The houses and landscape look like an American suburban neighborhood.

Yeah, likely so -- as per the basketball hoop in the driveway (in the "Somewhere under a car" photo).
posted by ericb at 11:58 AM on June 3, 2007


Great post. We need these on our moderators.

For the right donation to charity, I would totally do this for a day. I don't think it would be at ll interesting though. For example, I never climb under the car.
posted by jessamyn at 12:01 PM on June 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


$ +
posted by acro at 12:10 PM on June 3, 2007


For the right donation to charity, I would totally do this for a day.

Justin.tv, Justine.tv --

Next-up Jessamyn.tv!
posted by ericb at 12:17 PM on June 3, 2007


My wife and I were speculating just yesterday about what kind of pictures our cats would take if they could. Great post!
posted by languagehat at 12:26 PM on June 3, 2007


For example, I never climb under the car.
posted by jessamyn


I'll double my pledge if you do!
posted by The Deej at 12:28 PM on June 3, 2007


It's a great start. Now it needs a realtime RF broadcast interface and a remote control 1000 volt coil so I can shock the piss out of the cat when it's loitering at my bird feeder.

Seriously, although I have a real beef with people who let their cats roam, this is way cool.
posted by localroger at 12:29 PM on June 3, 2007


Genius.
Thanks, tracert.
posted by bru at 12:38 PM on June 3, 2007


This is fantastic. Now all we have to do is give one of these to Jeff and we'll have Ogrish.com for cats!
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:39 PM on June 3, 2007


My cat's photos would be carpet, carpet, carpet, chair, carpet, sofa, carpet, catbox, carpet, chair, food dish, carpet, chair, chair, sofa, water, carpet, carpet, my head, carpet, my head, carpet, my head, kitchen linoleum.
posted by The Deej at 12:39 PM on June 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Server too busy, please try again later.

:(
posted by Space Coyote at 1:13 PM on June 3, 2007


Great post! I would like to see a mash up between CatCam and Action Cats. Video would be even better.
"Look out, because here comes Stego-Puss! "
posted by Sailormom at 1:36 PM on June 3, 2007


Here's a mirror.
posted by CKZ at 1:52 PM on June 3, 2007


Blast, link's broken.
posted by CKZ at 1:54 PM on June 3, 2007


Again? I'm a tool. I'm going to sleep.

Great post by the way!
posted by CKZ at 1:55 PM on June 3, 2007


Needs more bacon.
posted by Cyrano at 2:01 PM on June 3, 2007


Awesome post.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:03 PM on June 3, 2007


Here's the correct archive link.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:05 PM on June 3, 2007


This reminds me of Sam Easterson's work with video cameras on wolves, cows, falcons and lots of other animals (and even a tumbleweed). Unfortunately only very short clips are available at his site (though even a few seconds of a tarantula's POV as it walks around is pretty compelling) but I remember being surprised at how interesting most of the videos were--the animals typically looked at the other animals around them or at interesting things in their environment. And they really did do a good job of getting me to see things from the animal's point of view. Things like a baby chick running like crazy and dodging under obstacles a couple inches high, or a pig almost meditatively rooting in mud, or a cow's propensity to lick its friends.
posted by jjwiseman at 2:09 PM on June 3, 2007


Interessante Fakten
posted by Methylviolet at 2:52 PM on June 3, 2007


CAT-LIKE BLOGGING DETECTED
posted by sourwookie at 3:09 PM on June 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Mr. Lee is going into professional photography ?!

:D

What amazing photographs, I found that really touching. An incredible insight into the sights, sounds and small pleasures that must make up the unseen everyday existence of a cat. In a way it brought to mind the poem "The Mower" by Philip Larkin where he talks about mauling the "unobtrusive world" of a hedgehog that he killed with his lawn mower. These photos show rare glimpses of the unobtrusive world of the cat, and nobody dies or is cruelly experimented on. Brilliant.
posted by fire&wings at 3:41 PM on June 3, 2007


More cat related technology from 2002. In the blue:
Flo Control
posted by joecacti at 5:00 PM on June 3, 2007


This was great! We used to have a wayward hunting dog who would roam for days and eventually find his way home - often with some interesting wounds. What we would have given to have had a photo journal of his adventures (on the other hand if we'd had the proposed GPS version we would have just gone and picked him up, I suppose).

I can't wait to see the BBC Bristol version of this, with a David Attenborough voiceover.
posted by duncan42 at 5:09 PM on June 3, 2007


Two thoughts:

1) What with all of the other cats, cars, and other dangerous objects the cat encountered, I am very glad that my cat is an indoor cat.

2) But after seeing all the fun things that constitute a day in the life of a kitty (especially the "secret places" and cat social scene), for the first time I wondered if I'm cruel for denying my cat that.
posted by jennak at 10:02 PM on June 3, 2007


This is bizarre. Just yesterday I was watching my cats move about our house and thought: I wonder what it's like to see the world, so low, from their point of view.

Thanks!
posted by zenpop at 10:11 PM on June 3, 2007


A most excellent post! Thanks.

The caption for the photo where the cat returns home to an empty house makes the picture seem rather poignant.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:59 PM on June 3, 2007


This is so excellent. We know even know that Mr Lee spent a whole hour just watching the bird house!
posted by ponystyle at 2:03 AM on June 4, 2007


Sorry, maggiemaggie, missed your observation the first time round.
posted by ponystyle at 2:05 AM on June 4, 2007


Reading this makes me sort of sad for my cat that she doesn't get to go outside and make new friends.
posted by astruc at 2:20 AM on June 4, 2007


Update-
I don't know if you (the annonymous, internet "you") have checked back, but he's selling the camera's now -
and only 30 USD! (pretty cheap for a lot of cool)

MakeBlog (here) talks about the building of it, if you wanna DIY.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:42 AM on June 4, 2007


I love this. It's awesome to see that he meets up with cat friends and stuff. And I especially like that his cat chin and whiskers are in almost every photo!
posted by punkrockrat at 10:22 AM on June 4, 2007


Someone could make a ton of money selling these to cat fanciers. Surely it will happen.
posted by mouthnoize at 11:11 AM on June 4, 2007


Dammit. Both the original site and the mirror are displaying a "violation of TOS" message now. I really wanted to see those pictures.
posted by LeeJay at 12:06 PM on June 4, 2007


Leejay, here's a mirror of big slow loading jpg's:

Page 1:
http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/7151/84827580sa6.jpg
http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/3061/68924812uw5.jpg

Page 2:
http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/7079/39358299ku3.jpg
http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/6703/19764866vb7.jpg

Page 3:
http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/7127/73699203xl7.jpg
http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/4747/26776895ox3.jpg

Page 4:
http://img388.imageshack.us/img388/7607/92571857zw3.jpg
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/546/43321530ja2.jpg

Page 5:
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/6235/12661513qr3.jpg
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/4985/86568800kd2.jpg
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:22 PM on June 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


christ, mefi doesnt auto link urls? what is this 1965?
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:23 PM on June 4, 2007


It's part of a fiendish plan to raise basic html literacy through a mixture of shaming and attrition.
posted by cortex at 2:07 PM on June 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks damn dirty ape! The pictures are wonderful.
posted by LeeJay at 3:05 PM on June 4, 2007


I know I'm a little late to this party but neither the tripod URLs in the post nor the Coral Cached copy of the site work so this post is effectively useless now. Does anyone have a URL that actuall works?
posted by Rhomboid at 2:57 AM on June 5, 2007


Excellent. And it does seem to explain why, when my indoor cats manage to sneak into the garage, they immediately head for underneath the car; it's their natural meeting place.

It all makes so much sense now.
posted by quin at 9:24 AM on June 5, 2007


The Tripod site was slashdotted, but it looks like the link in the original post here at MeFi has been updated to the new location:

http://www.mr-lee-catcam.de/
posted by pzarquon at 5:47 PM on June 5, 2007


It's working again, and there is a "Buy a CatCam" link that isn't active yet. But when it is, I am totally buying a catcam.
posted by etoile at 9:17 AM on June 8, 2007


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