Well, a year ago I designed a “whack-a-mole” toy for my cat (https://community.glowforge.com/t/whack-a-mole/71577). It received a lukewarm reception from the cat population in my house and has gathered dust for a long time.
So, a year later, I decided to try again and came up with a smaller toy that is intended to be operated by a person and only features one toy, not five.
Let’s call this one “Peek-A-Boo Mousie”.
It employs a scissors mechanism and split doors from which the mouse appears. I engineered it to automatically close the doors when the mouse descends. Most importantly, it embraces a magnet on the platform so that you can switch out the toy that appears. Simply hot glue a steel washer to the bottom of a cat toy and you’re good to go.
So far, the jaded cat population in my home has shown only a mild interest. But that’s okay because I had fun designing it and can see using this type of mechanism in other projects.