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Charlie's RFID Teddy Bear from MAKE Volume 28

Science communication designer David Harris wanted to make a unique toy for his nephew Charlie, who was born with cerebral palsy. Charlie’s vision is poor but he’s very tactile and auditory, so David designed a location-aware teddy bear that reads RFID tags and plays different customizable sounds depending on where it is or what object it’s near. An Arduino embedded in the bear uses an RFID reader to recognize nearby RFID tags, then uses an audio shield attachment to play corresponding audio files stored on an SD memory card.

David shared his build instructions with us on the pages of MAKE Volume 28, the Toys and Games issue, and we’ve shared the full build with you on Make: Projects. To make gathering supplies for the build a breeze, the Maker Shed has put together the RFID Teddy Bear Project Bundle, which includes all the materials you need except for the bear, the velcro, and sewing thread. Time to play!

how the rfid teddy bear works Build Your Own RFID Teddy Bear

From the Pages of MAKE

MAKE 28MAKE Volume 28: Toys and Games!
MAKE Volume 28 hits makers’ passion for play head-on with a 28-page special section devoted to Toys and Games, including a toy “pop-pop” steamboat made from a mint tin, an R/C helicopter eye-in-the-sky, and a classic video game console. You’ll also build a gravity-powered catapult, a plush toy that interacts with objects around it, and a machine that blows giant soap bubbles. Play time is a hallmark of more intelligent species — so go have some fun!

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Goli Mohammadi

I’m a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

I was an editor for the first 40 volumes of MAKE. The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. Covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made.

Contact me at snowgoli (at) gmail (dot) com.


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