Simon says is the classic game where a sequence of lights and corresponding tones is played at you and you repeat the sequence back to progress to the next level. Starting at one beep, every level adds to the sequence building up until you eventually trip up and cannot remember what comes next.
This might seem like a simple device to implement, but the further you look, the more complexity you have to account for in terms of not letting people click while the sequence is being demonstrated to them, accounting for the “strict” setting and implementing a power on-off switch. What’s really being asked of you, is not just to deal with sequenced events, but to build a multi state machine to dictate what happens when.
It was also a fun chance to develop some aesthetic and layout skills, I wanted to inject some skeuomorphic styling on the buttons, took care to match the font on the front and spent some time trailing styles to make the score indicator look like a real digit display to really bring up memories of using little toys like this.
A project looking to create an educational toy for nursery children aged 2.5 to 4 years, culminating in a robotic dog designed to provide companionship and empathy building skills.
The dog, designed to resemble the function of a pet to an age group unsuited to live animals, is tied into the IBM Watson API to respond intelligently to the child’s actions, mimicking a real pet. Within my high school, this project was the first and only SQA Higher Product design assignment to reach 100% in grading.
The target age group possess a challenge given they are so young, this outcome aimed to stimulate social and empathetic skills, getting them to play and connect with something that, to their eyes, is a real animal but without the risk or spontaneity of having live pets in the vicinity.
The Dog would function full time in the context of a nursery school or play centre, randomising its behaviour (in a controlled scope) and reacting to environmental stimulus. Through the Watson API, it is sensitive to the behaviours of young children, reacting to their needs, for instance, backing off and acting docile if they express fear, coming to comfort if they look sad, excited during play.
Control interfacing would be done through a custom computer software to customise behaviours, activate games, map the play area and ignore certain people should a particular child take exception to it.
The dog is short, geometric and robust, moving on protected wheels at the base of the legs, the dog can take a considerable amount of abuse whilst being possible to undergo repairs.
This project definitely veered into territory that at the time I was unfamiliar with, that being an area of psychology / therapeutic design and speculative territories about our future relation with technology.
If I were to do this project today, I would like to not get as hung up as I was on the physical aspects of the design, for example, the touch screen game interface that was unnecessary and far beyond the comprehension of the target age group. More attention could have been payed to the beneficial (or otherwise) ways we interact with animals and what core empathy skills a child of that age could benefit from boosting.
Higher Graphic Communication ‘Thematic folio’ produced to sharpen my technical competency and visual presentation capability in final year high school.
The Thematic Portfolio is essentially what other institutions would call a technical package, a fully detailed CAD package with supporting parts list and promotional material.
We were asked to choose a physical product to reverse-engineer, build in CAD, and then create a brand identity around. I was excited to use this as an opportunity to expand my Autodesk Inventor skills and build a strong brand image around the product.
I choose this Tesco torch with a rotating head that can be tilted 90 degrees. Given it’s rotating mechanism, features following or arrayed around the cylindrical body, and detailed components, I felt it was a good challenge for my skill sets at the time. If I had wanted to I could have omitted detail such as the orange detailing, the clip, or the bulb assembly and still met the requirements of the brief but insisted on including these details for the sake of it.
The thematic is, in essence, a full visual display portfolio for our chosen product where we act as though the product is of our own design and we must now visualise and communicate it to a client, manufacturer and customer.
This folio is comprised of three components:
A fully annotated technical package including parts sheets.
Rendered CAD assemblies and exploded views.
Promotional posters and leaflet.
The fictionalised ‘Nitor’ was presented as a utility device for both home use and the outdoors (in reality the torch was far too fragile to do either). The graphic presentation was based around plays on the idea of folding and direction changes.
This was a chance for me to play with some new graphic techniques including layered transparency and a form of flat design used for the icons. The text affect attempted to evoke the imagery of an eclipse.