“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?

if we move..

Hi,

I started with connecting an RGB LED light to my sewed Flora board.

Then I checked the LED with floratest, to see if my connection is right or not.. and it lighted up!

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Then I searched for the sparkling skirt’s code on adafruit and found it, then pasted it.

However, when I tried to upload the code, I got several “serial port COM4 is already in use” errors unfortunately.. Plugging out and then in again worked somehow and I also restarted the Flora.. But it makes me anxious not to know whats going on indeed. Anyway, I uploaded the code successfully and animated the code..

Important notice: move_threshold is quite important! I forgot to change it to 5 from 45 and I had problems with lighting up the LEDs.. Then thanks to Wolfgang, I understood what I forgot..

Here is the video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KsDC2GXOeY

here is the code

accelarator sensor 1

 

and I changed the colors to my favorite colors..

here is the code and my favorite colors video:

accelarator sensor changed colors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr1DS70xIQE

Actually I was planning to change the codes in a way that I can match different colors with different movements.. Such as going left = blue, going right = red.. And I thought that the thing that Becky taught at the class -regarding changing “if” codes- would be helpful, but I was confused with the codes.. I hope I can get it this week.

Single LED was OK but strandtest.. not

After the last class which I couldn’t work my arduino stuff on my laptop, we tried to figure out the problem with Borris. Having tried many different things we achieved to make a blink -without knowing what we did- Then I thought all the problems are solved with my laptop and arduino.. But they aren’t.. I think the main problem is about “strandtest” because I imported strandtest manually to my library and it doesn’t work properly.

Here is my trials and failures:

First I started the Arduino application, and then connected the cords with a single RGB LED. Then I ran floratest and played with colors and delays.. Here are pics and videos:IMG_1975

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNNbRuc3R_k&feature=youtu.be

Then, when I tried to make some trials with strandtest I couldn’t achieve it. Although I learned how to import things to library (we are not supposed to import files to the arduino file in program files, we should import them into the documents/arduino/libraries) And the second rule is legal file name, we should avoid using “-” in file names, but “_” works.

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Awkward + Privacy Device

final_product

Thanks to my enjoyable words, I had an enjoyable brainstorming process, which I thought about awkward personal situations requiring privacy..  I focused on phone calls. We have many phone calls during a day and during many of them we could rarely find a private space to talk on phone. My idea is to create a surrounding speaker and mic product which allows user to have phone calls in public. This product helps users to hide their chats from the others.

I tried to reach a futuristic and simple form with my initial sketches.

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I built some mock-ups to try these ideas. My intention was to create a headphone which can be rotated when privacy is needed. In order to create a tight headphone which sits on the ears I used aluminum wires. The result was not satisfying because the device fell down.

Then I tried to find a simple form that sits on the shoulders and close all the surroundings of the mouth. This simple cylindrical form is more helpful to absorb the human voice.

Before making the final prototype, I visited Chinatown to find some material sources and got this sponge foam from “Canal Rubber” which is located at 329 Canal St. In order to find the fabric I visited  W 37th st. There are several fabric sellers.

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My awkward privacy device concept is a mouth surrounding headphone with a microphone integrated to it. The user plug it to his/her phone and then be able to have private calls in public.

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