Cat and Fish

— object-oriented experiment

Advisor:  Rung-Huei Liang
Designer: Tuan-Ting, Huang/ Yi-Chun, Lan
Date:  2019

Advisor:  Rong-Hui, Liang
Designer:  Tuan-Ting, Huang/ Yi-Chun, Lan
Date: 2018

Tuan-Ting, Huang/ Yi-Chun, Lan
Yi-Chun, Lan
Video & Photography:
Tuan-Ting, Huang/ Yi-Chun, Lan


We try to inspire people to rethink the relationships between humans and objects through the cat’s rich movements, making an unpredictable yet warm surprise for users.

The form  of our design is mainly based on things from the real world. We hope this toy can fit in users’ homes quietly by placing the cat paw in the Kotatsu

Introduction and Design Concepts

Born in this generation, we can’t be more familiar with phones, iPads, or other electronic devices. However, this also implicates that the distance between human beings is becoming further and further. We’re not trying to design an exciting toy but to shorten the distance between people. In this logic, we may be experimenting with a human-centered design, but we consider this an object-oriented toy from our viewpoints. By participating and focusing on this toy, we gather people closer to strike up a conversation.

From the beginning of this project, we were trying to make something that can give reaction randomly and make users surprises. We thought that if someone is surprised, they are likely to make some noises (maybe an Ahhhh, an Eeeek, or something like that) and might arouse people’s curiosity. After some discussions, we then started thinking about what form we should give to this toy. An object that reacts unpredictably without vivid characteristics might not seem that interesting and somehow a little creepy.

Therefore, we decided to animalize our form, adding affinity to this toy. We thought that cat was a good choice because of its mysterious personality. People can’t really know what cats are thinking, so the cat form makes random movements reasonable and even adorable. What’s more, we place the cat hand under a Kotatsu, which is a standard appliance in Japanese families to let their feet and bodies stay warm during winters. By designing in this form, we hope this toy can fit in families quietly and provide users with a sense of warmness.


Putting a photocell sensor under the fish, the cat would react randomly if the user touches the fish. The photocell sensor connects to Arduino under the tatami and way to the Kotatsu. Inside the Kotatsu are the servomotor and Arduino. The code we wrote into Arduino would first be triggered by the photocell sensor and create a random seed. Depending on the random number created, the cat hand would move randomly, which is connected to the servomotor.

How it functions as a family toy

Even though we designed it as a toy, and the whole texture also looks like a toy, we still expect that not only children would play with it, but also their families as well. We hope this toy can act as a bridge between family members. The cat hand’s unexpected movements might surprise users and arouse others’ curiosity to join this game. By playing with this toy, the family can enjoy this precious and warm moment. It might not be long, but definitely worth it. In this modern generation, it’s more difficult to gather people together. If there’s a thing that can first draw people together, it would be much easier for them to start a conversation. Therefore, our goal is not to be an exciting, unstoppable game but rather a trigger that can strike up a conversation and communication for people.