Instructables

How to Make a Smart Baby

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Picture of How to Make a Smart Baby
 
I made this toy for my nephew's 1st birthday. It teaches babies that an input into a computer causes a certain output.

It has three different inputs and three different outputs designed to engage, develop the mind, and be fun!

The first button turns on/off the LED in the star.
The round knob changes the brightness (PWM) of the LED in the heart.
The momentary button turns on a buzzer.
When the star LED and the buzzer are on at the same time the heart LED will turn red.

You can add more complexity if you'd like, but since my nephew is only 1 year old I thought I'd start off simple. 
 
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Step 1: Components and tools

Picture of Components and tools
As many projects start, I found random parts that were laying around my room, and bought a couple additional things.

The parts are listed in the photo, but here are a few notes to help explain things:

I used an Arduino Duemilanove. You can use any Arduino as long as there are 7 digital (3 of them PWM), and 1 analog I/O ports. 

The control knob I used fits the 1/4" shaft of the potentiometer. Make sure you buy a knob that has a set screw so that the baby can't easily pull it off the toy.

The resistors you need depend on what LEDs you use, what brightness you want, and desired buzzer loudness, etc. For the red 3mm LED (used for on/off status) I used a 390 ohm resistor. I used a 330 ohm resistor in the buzzer circuit so that the 'buzz' wouldn't be extremely loud. I used a 10k ohm resistor for the pushbutton switch and the rocker switch. For the yellow LED I used a 300 ohm resistor, and for the RGB LED I used 770 ohm resistors because the LED was super super bright. 

I used 3 screws to attach the Arduino board to the case, 2 screws to attach the buzzer and 4 screws to attach the back plate. Screws work nicely because the threads are big and grab into the plastic case. Use whatever sizes fit your components. 

Everything should be available for purchase at RadioShack, although they're also available at higher quality stores.

For tools you will need a soldering iron and 3D printer. If you don't have a 3D printer you can mount the switches into a box or send your file to a company that can print the case for you. You'll also need odds and ends like a screwdriver, wire cutters, solder...

Here are links to the parts I used:
Buzzer
Momentary pushbutton switch
Rocker switch
Control knob
3mm red LED
Arduino Duemilanove
R
GB LED
Rotary potentiometer
Yellow LED 5mm
9v battery connector
Toggle switch
Resistors
Wire
Header
Heat shrink
Replicator 2 3D printer
Solder station

zonk3r1 year ago
I love it. However, it does seem a little overkill to use an Arduino rather than discrete components for some of the functions at least.
Excellent ! Wow , Auntie Lisa has made a "toy" that I am sure will be cherished for many years to come ! The entire instructable is so well done and the craftswomanship is superb !!
Thank you for sharing with the community ; keep up the awesome work !
Build_it_Bob ( the soon to be Grandpa ! )
palambert1 year ago
Just WOW!
abunda1 year ago
I like very much how, when babies are really "entertained", they don't smile :-)
Ohaus821 year ago
Bode is loving his new toy! We play with it every day. Thanks again!
robotjim1 year ago
Nice work Lisa! Going to have a scary smart nephew there.
J-Five1 year ago
Brilliant!! And your nephew is so adorable!!!
hirnwunde1 year ago
Awesome idea!
I like!