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Chennai, India
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I'm planning to conduct a toy workshop - the idea is to help people make some common toys. I would appreciate all ideas for sucha  workshop. Shouldn't be too technical. Ideas with/without arduino are welcome.
At the moment i'm thinking of building simple to comple pull back cars based on motors and some simple cicruits. Any other ideas? or any thoughts on these ideas? I want something for kids 8-14 to explore and learn.

Cheers,
Pracas
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Rural Arizona
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Have you thought about using Lego?  You could make many different kinds of toys with it.  There are pullback motors available for it.

You can interface an Arduino to the Lego robotics parts to make computer-controlled animated toys.

Check ebay and bricklink.com if you can't easily locate parts locally.

Ran
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Hi Ran,

I currently use lego. But want to use other things for this workshop. Lego is expensive where i live smiley-sad. Mindstorms NXY costs 600$
I plan to use simple dc motors , wheels, etc. I do have enough arduino clones. I'm looking for simplified ideas without programming.

cheers,
Prakash
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That's why I suggested Bricklink:  you can buy individual pieces,  rather than entire sets at retail.

There are lots of people who buy sets and part them out for sale there.  Since the pullback motors are not very interesting to Bricklink's main market (adults looking for special pieces for their own designs),  you can probably find them cheap.

Unfortunately,  Lego has discontinued (most of??) the sets that came with electric motors,  so the prices on them went up.  But there might still be some deals to be found.

I'm pretty sure there are some Bricklink sellers in Asia,  so you could get parts without spending vast amounts on shipping.

Ran
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I recently designed and taught a workshop based on this toy design. When the rabbit is fed the carrot its heart/stomach lights up:



It worked quite well for a beginner class. I need to get around to documenting construction. :-)

--Phil.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2009, 08:45:13 am by follower » Logged

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Ran,

Thanks will check it. normally the shipping on cheap stuff takes a big bite of the budget. smiley-sad

Phil,

Great Idea. I'm actually inspired by the idea. I'm looking to get kids interested with arduino and I want simple interesting projects for them.

Cheers,
Pracas
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I have noticed that sparkfun puts together kits that they use at places like maker faire. They have the kits on their site.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=157

Not sure what your budget is but they may even give a discount depending on what your using them for.
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I always used to start my students with a bendy wire game. The one where you have a loop (ground) and try to get from one end to the other without touching the wire (signal ). You can make it from a wire coat hanger and a block of wood.

The great thing is that it is so easy to expand it. Just start with an LED lighting up when it is touched, then a buzzer. Then have it latching on rather than momentary.

Then add end stops (two more inputs) so you can reset the LED and then time the run. Transfer the time to processing, have a high score table. Have touches add a 5 second penalty. The variations you can build are endless.
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