Liam Thompson is a 21-year-old Youtuber who’s known for building cool stuff.
His cat’s name may be Frodo, but Thompson said he’s in “Gandalf territory” at 20 years old and has been having trouble getting around to his favorite spots, especially a sunny corner of the backyard where he likes to sit poolside and enjoy the New Zealand warmth.
“Despite his ancient-ness, he still insists on hobbling down these stairs every day to sit out in the sun,” Thompson says in a video about his latest project. “That is, until today.”
The video shows the handy Kiwi building an “elevator” — more like a stair lift for a cat — out of wood, an electronic hoist and a handful of small hardware pieces. The passenger compartment is a simple cart, and at the press of a button the cart descends or ascends the stairs along a wooden track.
“Are you ready to go downstairs without having to move a muscle?” he asks his cat before the maiden ride. “I hope so, because it took me four days.”
Thompson is delighted as the elevator works perfectly and Frodo rides it without fear or protest, laughing as the orange senior cat makes himself comfortable during the ride. The current setup requires Thompson to push a button, but perhaps in the future he can add a simple button for Frodo directly on the cart.
Speaking of elevators, this cat thinks he’s Leslie Chow from The Hangover:
Nintendo’s newest game has been out for all of one day and already cats are like “Nuh-uh.”
The idea behind Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is clever yet simple and seemingly tailored for the pandemic era: Using a Nintendo Switch, players control a tiny Mario Kart equipped with a camera and race it around courses they design in their homes. Because players are controlling the kart through a screen and seeing things from the kart’s point of view, the game augments the race course by generating obstacles to dodge, coins to collect and opponents to race against.
It’s called augmented reality, because it adds layers of computer-generated imagery over things we can see with our own eyes. It’s the same concept behind smart glasses and floating heads-up displays.
But there’s one wild card Nintendo’s designers may not have anticipated: Felis catus.
Nothing grabs a cat’s attention quicker than a small, fast-moving object, and the little karts have been triggering the predatory instincts of countless cats.
Some cats go all “You shall not pass!” Gandalf-style on the karts: