An Interactive Modular Toy System
Scott G Pobiner
Kan Yang LiWriting and Research
IOMAN is a modular toy system that enriches interactive play experiences through character design and physical computing. Players can combine dynamic shapes by creative thinking to build up customized characters with mechanical movements and electronic reactions. IOMAN offers the experiences of playing with design and playing with technology.
“You can’t teach creativity; all you can do is let it blossom, and it blossoms in play.” — PETER GRAY, Psychologist and Research Processor at Boston College
To further support creativity play and inspire the fantasy of children, traditional modular building toys can be enriched by adding character customization and electronic reaction. IOMAN figure has a central body, and all the other accessories interchanged to create whatever kind of strange creatures you want. These accessories include arms, legs, heads, wings, patterns and much more, some accessories including mechanical movements which enrich children’s imagination of storytelling. Players can mix and match shapes to unleash infinite character combinations easily.
IOMAN also features a system of conductive connectors. The central body has an open-source electronics platform(Arduino) inside, and accessories have either sensor or actuator modules embedded. With these connectors, the central body and accessories can connect electronically and present reactions including illuminating, vibrating and sounding. Children can also reprogramming IOMAN to achieve their own reactions. The reactions of the characters invite children to explore and develop the coordination, while letting them understand cause and effect.
Yang is a visual and interaction designer originally from China now lives in New York City.