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Kirsten Halterman writes in:

My First Robot” is a book for young children (ages 1-3), intended as an introduction to sensory input and output. I created this book to excite children about small electronics and robots.

Using an Arduino, buttons, and an IR sensor, I programmed the robot (named Isbot) to sing a song for its user. When the user gives Isbot a high-five or a low-five (pushes one of the red buttons), Isbot detects their depth (Isbot’s eyes are the IR sensor) and will either sing a song slowly (if they are close) or very quickly (if they are far away). This book gives parents a platform to discuss depth, sound, and touch.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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Comments

  1. failrate says:

    Definitely nice to see people using microcontrollers for toys. :) I think they are not taking full advantage of the book format, though. It should be possible to use some kind of switch to activate different settings in the Arduino by turning the pages of the book. Most children’s books in that age range generally have thick pages, so it would be easy to hide additional hardware.

  2. agarza6@uic.edu says:

    I think that it is missing LED’s. LED’s are a great way to ‘see’ what is happening and always grab peoples attention. I just don’t imagine that sound alone would grab a child’s attention amongst many other noise making toys. Sorry if this sounds rude, but this almost seems like the equivalent to a song playing Halmark card. What are other peoples thoughts?

  3. MakerDino says:

    It’s a great idea and you need to run with it… take it into some more pages. I too think it should have LEDs. Make them blink faster with the input from the IR sensor.

    Yes I see that it’s a “prototype” so I expect you to keep developing.

    Good job!

  4. rob0 says:

    Good concept – I’d love to see the next version of it. There are a lot of ideas to explore and different types of sensors you could use.

    1. rob0 says:

      http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21477365

      Those fabric sensors might be interesting too for a child’s toy.

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