Design and Technology
My Own Personal Yellow Brick Road
Initial Ideas
Categories: Design Process

After trawling through several electronics sites and chatting with my insomniac husband (see Lights idea no. 4) I have come up with some cool design ideas that I feel, so far, answer my brief.

They fall under two (somewhat disparate!) titles, Lights and Money Boxes. The first thing that came to mind when thinking about this project was to make something that lights up, seemed to me the most obvious thing to do when you’re not sure about the range and scope of electronics. After doing a little research on components I came up with the ideas below:

LIGHTS (research images here and here)

  • Childs customisable night light – different cases (colours, designs), plug in/battery operated, cases could be milled out of acrylic and would clip on to the base unit, can be turned on/off or put on to the light detection mode (light sensor to tell bulb to switch on)
  • Childs customisable bedside lamp – different cylindrical cut outs/colours (slot on to the base unit), plug in/battery operated, cylinders could be laser cut and shaped around a form, motor inside to rotate the piece work cylinder. Can be on/off/light detection/rotating.
  • Solar powered, customisable garden light – unit would sit on a spike to be positioned in the ground or on a clamp to fit on branches or garden furniture, cases could be milled from acrylic and clip onto the base unit, would be designed to switch on in low light.
  • Adults bedside light – would be made out of semi-transparent/frosted plastic (thin veneered wood?), interesting shape, on or off would look sculptural, would have a dimmer function on turning it off to help you get to sleep, would leave a light facing the ceiling that would dim gradually over the course of 5 – 10 minutes to prevent the sudden switch from light to dark 

 After becoming a little more comfortable with the idea of making an electronic product things started getting a little more interesting. I loved toys with movement and sound when I was little, there was something a little bit magical about an object that could move or talk with little input (although I still think Furbys are a bit strange, even for me) a real sense of childish glee overtook me when I realised that I now have the opportunity to make something like that myself! My product though, was to be something useful; I didn’t want it to become the fad toy that would be abandoned once the next big thing was out. One object I always cherished as a child was my money box (hmmm… never really thought about it but I was quite a materialistic child…). It would have to be interesting though, like the Halloween themed coffin box, putting the coin in the designated area caused the skeleton in the coffin to reach out and drag the coin in to the grave (mwah ha ha ha! oh, sorry got distracted). I wanted to make mine just as interesting:

MONEY BOXES (research images here and here)

  • Safe Money Box – To look very high tech with a keypad locking mechanism, poss. movement and sound effects when unlocked (clunk, hiss of releasing pressure seal for inputting the correct code, siren for hazardous waste and rotating hazard lights for incorrect code).
  • Dragon Money box – Dragon would open mouth and stick out tongue to accept coin, pressure switch on the tongue would tell the mechanism to reverse pulling it back in and shutting the mouth, the head would then tilt back to deposit the coin into the dragons stomach, could also include light and sound, more scope for movement.

So here are my starting points, next step research and development…

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