NOT YOUR EVERYDAY COLLECTIBLE.
This paused product line combines the art of collecting with the creativity behind STEAM building. The bots themselves resemble found objects in the home. The act of plug’n play, allows kids to see what each piece does in combination. Next, kids hack together different simple machines or scenes to create a play-set just like a movie montage. This way of playing, building montages, evolved while I was designing Thingamajig cards.
Connected, modular robots that bring personality to building..
Each modular piece represents a found object in the home to inspire kids that they can hack these objects for real.
Draw a Thingamajig card to see what machine to build. Pull a Doodad card to be given a challenge. Combine everything together in the play-set with a Thingamabob card. Montage breaks down engineering concepts into digestible baby steps to allow kids to learn at their own speed.
COLLECT THEM ALL.
Build any bot combination with the modular pieces to create endless, desirable trophies.
Visited fairs, schools, and brick & motors to discover trends and untapped themes.
Conducted in-home interviews to see first hand what girls were doing day to day.
On the market, collecting brands had begun to dominate the market. But in girls’ homes, most activities were combination of various kits all looped into one, hacked version of hacking. We saw that girls wanted to build, but also collect trophies.
What is under the hood? Top & Bottom pieces are input sensors & output actuators. Brain piece are the personality. The chip and battery is stored in this central piece. But more importantly, it is where the personality’s custom firmware is stored to uniquely react to each Top & Bottom piece. Custom sounds, choreographed motor movements, light sequences, etc. were all designed for playtesting & eventually to be used in production.
I designed the characters through exploratory animations to discover movement and music for voice. The design process evolved to be where each modular piece affects the ever evolving personality. Any output or input added to the mixture will impact the voice, the movements, & the interests of the bot. Consistencies of plugin feedback helps to guide kids on how the electronic system works.
During testing, kids would build a mechanism. They would then continue to evolve the concept through trial & error. They always finished builds with solutions they never started out thinking would solve it.
Montage began as a theory of customization in building. But for the bots to be learning tools, not just connected figurines, they need the free thinking space of the montage play-set to evolve. The play-set’s design needs to evolve to mimic the real world. With easy to implement adapters in the real world, kids can go from mastering montage in the play-set to hacking their real environments. Finally, to use anywhere, the game cards will be evolved into an interactive app.