Rotating Toy

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This device is a great toddler distractor. While it could be described as a toy, it is more an appliance used by parents to entertain their child for hours, so they can perform other functions, such as chores, talking with other adults, or even resting with their feet up.

The name of Rotating Toy is just a temporary descriptor until a suitable name can be found.

When you turn it on and place it on the floor, it drives around in large circles with little arms waving around the outside. Then, when it encounters an obstacle, it turns itself to continue it's relentless search for open spaces. It goes around feet, table legs, gets out of corners, and occassionally falls over. In the present configuration, when it falls over, the gears start slipping and sounds like it's mad it fell over. The R/C model can be directed to further increase the range of motion, allowing for parents to get in on the action and to help prevent boredom. Incidentally, the R/C version could be used to prevent pets from not following the toy on their own.

How it really works is that it provides a moving target that attracts the attention of kids, maybe even pets, and gives them the opportunity to interact with it by putting it back on it's wheels when it tips over. This may not sound like a lot of fun to you, but it was the height of interest to the two year old girl who followed it for 3 hours right after I built it. Her mother wanted to buy it from me right then.

While my idea isn't entirely novel, it does provide a novel approach to child development. It doesn't move around in random directions like self motivated bouncy balls, but it isn't directed by human hands either. Children can find out that motions in physics can be predictable, even when not constantly directed by them. As the child grows, this toy can grow with it's owner. Mazes could be built for this to traverse, or it can be put into an area with other models to "fight." In fact, the original toy I modified the first prototype from was a remote controlled battle-bot style toy.

The market potential is wherever there's a parent that has a child and wants that child to be distracted by something other than themselves. The child doesn't even have to be a toddler, with the possibility of this to traverse obstacle courses and "fight" other models.

The Rotating Toy isn't going to make your child into a genius, nor is it going to make them into a track star, but it is going to exercise their mind and body. By having them try to predict where the toy is going, it will stimulate their imagination on how it is going to direct itself around the kitchen. At the same time, it will help them stay active by following it around, making sure it doesn't fall over.


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  • Name:
    Eric Ingamells
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
    IT Professional
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Eric's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Eyes, ears, hands, & mind. All others are secondary.
  • Eric's hobbies and activities:
    Creating what I need.
  • Eric is inspired by:
    Problems, issues, engineer's lack of real engineering, lack of a product I would use, lack of funds to buy "the real thing," and technology.
  • Patent status: