Disclaimer since December 3 this project has gotten quite some attention in online media. So many comments floating around in cyberspace, we feel a disclaimer is appropriate here before browsing through this webpage. Twoddler is a prototype system as a result of a course on combining hardware and software in an innovative way. It is not a commercial product nor is it available for general usage. How serious you take this, is entirely up to you!
The twoddler application is basically a Fisher Price Activity Center enhanced with pictures of family members and friends, and an Arduino board inside. All activities are captured by sensors connected to the Arduino board and are processed in two different ways:
- activities are translated into Twitter messages and posted on the toddler's personal Twitter account
- activities are send to another Activity Center and will generate effects (e.g. colored lights that blink) on your friends activity center
The software stack for an Arduino application is simple:
- An Arduino sketch runs on the Arduino board, capturing and processing all incoming data to a nearby computer or to a friend's Activity Center (using Zigbee communication)
- An Processing sketch runs on a computer nearby, translating the incoming data in a human readable message
- The Twitter API is used to communicate with Twitter
How does it work
The software captures sensor data from the activity center and tries to select a predefined text that is related to that sensor data. We are extending the system so it becomes easier to relate certain patterns of sensor readings with a set of strings. For example: when Yorin plays with mommy's picture for over 3 minutes, a twitter message will be posted saying "@mommy_yorin Yorin misses mommy and looks forward playing with her this evening", or when Yorin is hitting the doorbell button four times in a row, a twitter message will be posted saying "Yorin is showing off his music skills with a new tune". We hope to even support dynamic composition of new strings in the future.
With Twoddler we hope to have created a platform for Twoddler communication and open opportunities to learn more about how we can support online presence of Toddlers for their parents. Presence information is based on simple, playful and non-intrusive activity recognition.
Keep in mind, these are prototypes: