“Delightful” the interactive Toddler Spoon

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The Concept

Feeding toddlers is a problem for the parents because the toddlers tend to lose their interest easily. Therefore they refuse eating their food and get attracted by other things surrounding them.

Delightful Spoon is an interactive toddler spoon that aims to attract toddlers during the meal time. Thanks to the capacitive touch sensor, every time the toddler puts the spoon into his/her mouth the spoon lights up charmingly.

Wiring & Soldering

In order to be sure about the dimensions of the spoon shell, the assembly of the inner parts such as the battery, wires, capacitive sensor and LEDs are needed. Therefore, this step is coming before the CAD process. For the Delightful spoon we will be using momentary stand-alone capacitive touch switch by Adafruit, a 3.7V rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a copper tape to increase the sensitivity so that the sensor switch can sense the magnetic fields of food and the lips to light up the LEDs inside.

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3D Modeling

I used Rhinoceros 5 3D NURBS modeling software to create my spoon. By using networksurface command I was able to create an organic shape out of the smooth curves that I drew in the beginning. After creating the whole shape, I cut it into two pieces, and created shells out of two solid pieces.

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3D Printing

I used Dimension 3D Printer. It took approximately 3 hours to get the printed object out of the printer. Then I placed it into the chemical bath to get rid of the supporting material.

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Assembly

Shells are ready, circuit is there.. Why should I wait to assemble them? Here is the final image of the Delightful Interactive Toddler Spoon…

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Here is the instuctables link 

and here is the video for my Delightful spoon thanks to my amazing actress Lusha..

 

 

I would like to say thank you with this picture of me and my grandmother trying to feed me…

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GLOW spoon progress

About the GLOW Interactive Toddler Spoon:

Feeding toddlers is a problem for the parents because the toddlers tend to lose their interest easily. Therefore they refuse eating their food and get attracted by other things surrounding them.

GLOW Spoon is an interactive toddler spoon that aims to attract toddlers during the meal time. Thanks to the capacitive touch sensor, every time the toddler puts the spoon into his/her mouth the spoon lights up charmingly.

Process and current status:

Having collected all the electronic parts I need, I started to solder the battery to the Stand-alone capacitive touch switch. Then I tested the capacitive touch with a metal and a plastic spoon.

What I learned?

If  you want to increase the sensitivity of the capacitive switch, it is actually quite easy! You just need to increase the area of the conductive surface by soldering it to the small ring in the middle of the switch.

to be continued..

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Interactive Eating Experience for Toddlers

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Soup-sensitive spoon idea was one of the ideas that I came up with after the “innovative switch” assignment.  In this idea I approached to the soup as a conductive material which closes the circuit by behaving as a natural switch. When the spoon is dipped into the soup the circuit is completed and the LEDs light up.

Later on, as a collaborative work we (me with Lance Green and Brandon Washington) made a video storytelling of the spoon. I couldn’t imagine that this video would cause the amazing reaction of my 2 years old cousin.  In this video you can see her enthusiasm when she sees the LEDs light up when they are dipped into the soup. According to what her mother said, my cousin Asel, who recently started to speak with words, says “again” when the video is over and she points the spoon with her finger when the spoon is lit up.

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This reaction made me think about the design opportunity for the eating experience of toddlers. As far as I know, many parents have troubles feeding their little children.

Then I talked about this idea with one of my undergrad professors who is a father of two lovely toddlers.

Some questions, insights and opportunities popped up during our talk. Here are some of them:

Is it the toddler or the parents who is responsible for this appetite problem?

Is it possible to help parents to understand their toddlers regarding their eating aspirations?

Toddlers are intelligent, they learn quick and they get bored quick.

How might we design an enjoyable and interactive eating experience for toddlers?

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Having drawn several ideas, I came up with these ones: soup-sensitive spoon with “light” or “music” feedback.. An interactive toy that communicates with the spoon, in order to show that its stomach is getting full as the toddler eats..

These ideas are in a grey zone for me and I am afraid of receiving unexpected reactions from the user. Because the user usually behaves in a highly unexpected way.

Here are some technical questions that makes me confuse:

Is capacitive sensor is sensitive to baby food?

Since I will probably be using electrical stuff in the product, would it be suitable toddlers? (regarding the safety)

How could it be possible to wash the spoon without harming the circuit?

How does a capacitive sensor works actually?

Do I need an Arduino board for this idea or is the capacitive sensor that doesn’t require any board  suitable for this project?

Privacy Notifying Plush Light

Last time I had avoided sexual connotations while I was making my awkward privacy device.. But this time it is kind of impossible with these new words: “night light” and “plush”.. Well, Becky told that any project would be possible as soon as they include sewing and lights. But I thought I can make a “love notifying” hanger which receives the data from the movement sensor embedded into the bed and sends this data to the LED containing sweet plush door hanger. On the other hand, is it too crazy?