Author Archives: Yueming Gao

Project2: Naughty Robotcat – Group1

Group members: Siyu Sun, Yueming Gao, Maryam Dehghani, Victoria Gottardi


  • Brainstorming 

To generate ideas for a project involving interaction, we considered the type of interaction, physical tools related to motion and interactions, and how to interact. This led us to the initial idea of a pet robot.Given that our equipment was limited to a robotic arm, we decided to model the actions of a cat’s paw and incorporate playful movements.

As we progressed, this concept evolved and became more refined. Ultimately, we settled on the idea of a cat’s paw that displays movement and behaviour that the viewer can communicate with and develop a connection to.



  • Pet Therapy

Pet therapy, also known as animal-assisted therapy (AAT), is a type of therapy that involves trained animals interacting with people. The animals are trained to interact calmly and gently with people and are often used in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools to provide emotional support and companionship to patients and students.

  • Research questionIs it possible to create an interactive and collaborative Naughty Robocat and can all of our separate components work together to create a fun, inviting, and somewhat stress free work environment?


  • The Loona Robot: This is an adorable robotic pet. Some people find comfort in interacting with robotic animals, as they can provide a sense of companionship without the potential allergies, mess, or responsibility of caring for a live pet. (


  • PARO Therapeutic Robot: This is an advanced interactive robot developed by AIST, a leading Japanese industrial automation pioneer. It allows the documented benefits of animal therapy to be administered to patients in environments such as hospitals and extended care facilities where live animals present treatment or logistical difficulties. (



  • Laser Cut for Cat paw

To create a robotic arm that resembles a cat’s paw, we began by altering its appearance in the first phase. This involved utilizing a laser cutting machine and acrylic craft felt sheet to make a glove-shaped covering that shows the form of a cat’s paw. Then we placed this covering over the robotic arm.

lasercut01 lasercut02microsoftteams-image-4

  • Interactive Interface – Arduino& Robot

However, in order to increase engagement with the audience, we decided to include a touch sensor to initiate the arm’s movements. The Arduino was set up under the table. And the sensor was hidden under the sheet.


We design different movements for two Robot State: State 1st is usually like a cat observing the environment tentatively. State 2nd is the cat doing something for the environment. 


  • Working environment 

Ultimately, we aimed to simulate a real-life setting by creating a suitable environment and positioning a person in a workspace. Instead of a live cat, we used a robotic arm in this space. By incorporating familiar cat’s behavior and making slight adjustments to the arm’s appearance, we endeavored to evoke a sense of owning a pet similar to the real-life experience for humans.

microsoftteams-image-2microsoftteams-image-2-copyAs we expand the range and diversity of the movements, it is possible that we may observe more interactions between the robot and humans than exist in traditional robot-human relationships.

  • To Mimic a cat 

In the next phase, we focused on modifying the movements of the robotic arm to emulate the desired actions. Our goal was to replicate the natural behavior of a cat, while also incorporating playful and mischievous movements, such as touching an object and suddenly knocking it over with a swift motion.

  • Three movements of robot cat 

Slapping the cup


Interrupting work


Patting a new toy




  • We had to consider how the robot arm’s movements would affect our created environment, as some movements did not go as planned. (knocking over a plant and hitting the laptop).


  • The pig was too soft to be recognized by the touch sensor, so we had to adapt by taping a hard object (in this case a USB stick) on the bottom of it. Even then, it took many tries to get the USB stick to touch the sensor successfully.



For this assignment, we considered the use of animal therapy robots, such as PARO, the therapeutic robot. However, we aimed to develop an animal robot that could potentially help people in the workplace. Our cat robot, “The Naughty Robocat,” would serve as a companion in the workplace, helping to destress the environment and provide workers with a fun, healthy distraction and break from their work as they interact with the Robocat.

As we considered the interactions that The Naughty Robocat would perform, we began to address some important questions. The established interactions would be collaborative between us, the Robocat, and a touch sensor attached to an Arduino. Currently, the project requires the use of one human in a simulated work environment. Other humans behind the scenes would oversee preplanning the Robocat’s movements through two different robot states, which would then be carried out when the human in the work environment interacts with the touch sensor while working.

In future work, our project can be extended to explore other aspects, such as designing more interactions between humans and robotic cats, investigating whether robotic cats can have different reactions to users’ actions, and exploring the possibility of playing games together between robotic cats and humans. Researching these issues can help us delve deeper into the relationship between humans and robots.

Video URL:

Robot script URL:

Arduino/processing code URL:

Devs 4 – Group 1

Group members: Victoria Gottardi, Siyu Sun, Maryam Dehghani, Yueming Gao


Can robots only simulate humans? Can robots be “othered”? Inspired by post-humanism, the relationship between organisms and machines is both evolutionary and simulated. Will future human pets also be mechanized? When humans interact with mechanical animals, can emotions also be generated?

The background is about post-humanism and the potential evolution of relationships between living organisms and machines. With the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence, it is essential to consider the implications of these advancements for the future of society.

Moreover, the question of whether machines can be “othered” raises significant questions about how we perceive and interact with technology. If we can create machines that appear to have a sense of self or otherness, it is possible that our relationship with technology will become more complex and nuanced. As we continue to develop more advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, it is crucial to consider the ethical implications of these advancements and how they may shape the future of society.

In this Project 2, we aimed to explore the idea of simulating the habits of cats using a mechanical arm. The project seeks to achieve a level of interaction between the robot and humans, such that it appears like a cat playing in the human world. We’ll use Processing and a robot arm to establish a connection between the two and design two basic actions to simulate the behaviour of a cat.


In Devs4, to test whether our group’s project concept can be implemented initially, we hope that the robot can do some simple interactions with humans. We use Processing to connect with the robot. Basically, we need to send data to the robot and design two basic actions to simulate a cat. Therefore, we plan to test two actions first: The first action involves the robot arm slapping something off a table, while the second action is a slower movement followed by quick hits. These actions are designed to mimic the behavior of a cat and create a sense of interaction between the robot and the human observer. Therefore, we designed two States.

State1: Simulate a cat slapping something.



State2: Simulate a cat hitting something. screenshot-2023-03-31-at-4-59-10-pm

The following pictures are the test screens.


img_8953 img_7711

Robot Script URL:

Devs3 – Group 1

Group members: Victoria Gottardi, Siyu Sun, Maryam Dehghani, Yueming Gao

What we are investigating

For this assignment, we are investigating what kind of code we can create with p5.js, and how that code responds to the robot’s movements connected through the websocket. We decided to pick p5.js because we are the most comfortable with that software, and we wanted to see what the robot to code connection on a web browser software would look like. We do not currently have a finalized project #2 concept, so we took this opportunity to get comfortable with getting data from the robot with a program like p5.js, and we are hoping that this experiment will potentially grant us some new skills, to which we can apply to project #2 if needed. Lastly, conducting this experiment might give us inspiration as we begin to solidify our project #2 concept.


How did it go

In Devs3, we try to use P5 to test the function of connecting the laptop to the robotic arm through Web Socket.

First of all, we set up Real time data for Robot on the computer. This application allows us to see the data when the robot moves, such as coordinate position, rotation angle and speed, etc.

Then we open the previously prepared sketch of P5 to test. As you can see, when the arm moves, the red dot moves with the arm. And the white particles will chase the red dot. This is because we make the x coordinate of the red point equal to the x value of the machine, and the y coordinate of the red point equal to the y value.

In addition, P5 has an advantage as a webpage editor. As long as the audience clicks on the URL we share, they can see the interactive process on different devices.


What we learned

In this process, we learned how to connect the robotic arm through Web Socket. We also try to use the data of the robotic arm to establish some interactions in different devices. There are many forms of interaction, but these are all based on changes in data. And we can directly see how the change in the data of the robotic arm affects the sketch of the P5 through coding. This makes us intuitively feel that there is actually a very close connection between data and our lives. How to use data to make changes is very important for our future projects.


The code link:

  1. Robot Script:
  2. P5 sketch: