Meow Meow Mini: First Look

Today I want to introduce you to a new board, the Meow Meow Mini. It’s basically a capacitive touch keyboard, which makes it easy to turn any almost anything into a controller for games and other apps.

Meow Meow is created by my friends at Electronic Cats, a Mexican open source hardware company headquartered in Aguascalientes.

Check out my friend Gus Merckel‘s Meow Meow Mini review video in Spanish.

Meow Meow Mini is a more compact, lower cost version of their larger board, but has the same 10 capacitive sensors and USB connection. The cute PCB is in the creative shape of a kitty face, with all the components and labels on one side. The sensors are the whiskers.

To get making with Meow Meow Mini, attach alligator clips to the through holes on the sturdy circuit board and connect the other ends to whatever material you’d like to try. It’s fun to experiment with what materials will work, since anything that’s even slightly conductive is fair game.

Connect the micro USB cable to your computer to use your new creation as a keyboard. Press the reset button to calibrate the sensors to the material you connected, and you’re good to go.

The ten keys are WASD, up down left right arrows, space bar, and left mouse click.

This kitten isn’t reprogrammable like it’s big brother, but it’s also only half the price, which makes it more accessible for educators and families doing STEAM projects with their kids. It’s a great companion to Scratch, as a controller for homemade games.

Meow Meow is similar to Makey Makey, which is a keyboard input board that uses resistive touch sensing. I think they are both awesome at helping kids and adults alike get a creative introduction to electronics that has lasting impact.

It’s cool to see Electronic Cats create and sell hardware in Mexico, where they are able to reach local communities more directly and without expensive import taxes, while also reaching the wider North American and global markets.

You can order a Meow Meow Mini right now on the Electronic Cats web store.

Here are some places I like to use my Meow Meow Mini: