Archive for the ‘Toys’ Category

Wood Lizzie is a DIY Soap Box Cart controlled via Wi-Fi

Monday, October 13th, 2014


In the following 10-minute video, the Currah team is showing us all the details of Wood Lizzie, a project experimenting with Arduino Mega and Wi-Fi Shield, a very flexible steering system and the virtually unlimited control range afforded by WiFi and Internet Protocol:

The original plan was to construct one of the two-wheeled robots very popular with hobbyists but it was eventually decided that the resulting vehicle would be of very limited application and capable only of traversing smooth surfaces. However, note that the current design can be viewed as the drive of a two-wheeled robot coupled with a trailer by means of a 360 degree pivot. A slip ring capsule within the pivot enables the heavy battery and bulky control system to be separated from the drive and located on the trailer thereby distributing weight evenly between the four wheels.


DIY soap-carts were pretty common among kids in the first part of the 20th century and built from old pram wheels, scrap wood and, typically, soap boxes. They could provide a lot of fun for the family at very low cost and in recent years there’s a new interest in them especially to those appreciating their vintage look!


Music and language skills get a boost with Toot

Monday, September 1st, 2014


Toot is an interactive and sound-active toy designed for children aged between 3 and 6 years old that wants to enhance their auditory, music and language skills. It was developed by Federico Lameri as his thesis project of Master of Interaction Design at Supsi and prototyped using Arduino Leonardo. (more…)

Arduino Drummerbot and the awesome song

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

The little drum playing robot designed by Steffest makes great music.

You control it like most drum computers: you draw the beats on a pattern of sixteen dots, perfectly suited for generic 4/4 rhythms.
There a 8 lines, each controlling 1 servo motor.

Most of the servo’s have a percussion item both on the left and the right, that’s why the pattern buttons have 3 states: off, left, right.
That makes 14 distinct percussion sounds for the drummerbot.

The pattern in the webbrowser is packed into a string, which get send to the Arduino via HTTP.
You can use a wifi module and a http server on the Arduino, or you can use another device attached to the Arduino through a comm port.
The Arduino receives the string, unpacks it back to a pattern and simple loops over the steps controlling each servo.

The Arduino code can be got from here. The music did make me smile! 🙂

[Via: GeekyGadgets and Steff’s blog]

E waste to toys: ThinkerToys

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Ever looked at a pile of E-waste containing perfectly usable electronic spare parts? Ever cringed at the thought of such aggregated piling waste from all the countries advancing in the field of technology? And all this waste being dumped in landfills in developing countries where kids who should be in school, work here for a meagre pay of a dollar a day.

Having seen this, ThinkerToys started as an idea to reuse this eWaste and convert them into fun toys for kids. The creations by Dhairya Dand,

a researcher at Keio-NUS CUTE Center, Singapore, was noticed by everyone at the ICTD (International conference on information and communication technologies and development), Atlanta 2012.

The design is simple: E waste + Arduino =

Keyano turns an ordinary keyboard into a piano! With the keys musically mapped to notes.

Basic addition, subtraction can be an invaluable skill for any kid. RandoMath is a small LED screen connected to your computer keyboard, and asks you random math puzzles.

Storynory has recorded fun stories in your local language, plug in the headphones or speakers for collaborative hearing.

Connect any old TV or CRT monitor and make it TV++, add a keyboard or a mouse for controls. This is a power packed mini computer designed for kids to be hooked on to the TV again, but this time for good reasons!

eWaste is directly connected to these toys without any modification. The resulting combination turns the eWaste (keybaord, mice, speakers, monitors) into something totally new and unexpected.

openTOYSis an ongoing project and more people might contact the creator for further development or for collaborating ideas. More of his works can be found here.