May 14, 2009

Robotic safety blanket keeps toddlers busy

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Branko Collin @ 9:51 am

The Play’d is “a soft, thick blanket, developed for very young children that doubles as an interactive play environment.” It is made of squares of differing materials, each with a sensor hidden underneath, for the toddler who knows where their safety blanket is. The blanket can produces light, sound and vibrations. A sample application is when a kid is in its “rolling phase”: lights and sounds can be used to lure a child to roll in a certain direction.

The Play’d netted its inventor, computer scientist Viktor de Boer, first prize in the Nieuwe Idee├źn Prijsvraag (New Ideas Competition) of Science Park Amsterdam last Tuesday. Second prize went to Vanessa Evers for her robot “that supports human-robot interaction research.” I am not quite sure what that means, but I do see a pattern of robots trying to get to know us here.

Photo: Viktor de Boer. Link: Sargasso (Dutch).

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