Toy Autopsy: Furby, Glow Dome, Spy Gear!

As makers, we love getting inside of things to understand how they work and how they’re made. So we were inspired to give YOU an inside peek at three of the hottest toys of the 2012 holiday season! Check out the insides of these awesome electronics with helpful tags by our guest maker expert, Matthew Beckler of HackPittsburgh. And next time one of your toys hopelessly breaks like ours did, remember to peek inside and even reuse some of its parts in your next maker project.

(Psssst! Don’t miss Matt’s notes at the very end, exploring cool similarities inside these toys that look really different on the outside AND even a tip about how “night vision” works.)

Furby 2012

Furby Autopsy

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Crayola Glow Dome

© 2012 Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Spy Gear Night Sight Night Vision

© 2012 Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

NOTES FROM MAKER EXPERT, MATT:

* All three toys contain very common Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) which are small, low-power sources of light. The LEDs in the spy scope are a special kind of LED, that shines “infrared” light, which is a special kind of light that our eyes can’t normally see, but the special camera sensor in the spy scope can see it. This is how the spy scope can see in the dark!

* There are little electric motors in both the Furby (for moving the eye lids and ears) and also the color dome (to rotate the dome). Motors are a very common way to make things move with electronics.

* All three toys contain switches, which let you control the electrical connections in the toy. The color dome switches let you control how the dome rotates and how the LEDs light up, the furby switches can detect if you bump the Furby or tip the Furby over on its side, and the spy scope switch lets you choose between off, day, and night settings.

©2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

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3 Responses to Toy Autopsy: Furby, Glow Dome, Spy Gear!

  1. Pingback: Furby สัตว์เลี้ยงไฮเทค

  2. jeromedemers says:

    Those are not “vibration sensors” in the furby components, they are the capacitive sensors. Tin fold to detect the presence of fingers and hands. The furby can detect when you pet him or touch his belly.

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