Animated drawing pad wins U-M toy competition
An electronic doodle pad that animates your drawings is the winner of a toy design competition organized by the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship.
The Scribble grew out of a December focus group in which student designers asked third-graders what they wanted from Santa Claus.
“Many wanted interactive touch screen devices such as iPods or Nintendo DS’s,” says Ryan Thurmer, an undergraduate student in the School of Art & Design who was part of the winning team. “Using this information, we reflected on vivid memories of creating flip books as children. We knew we wanted to re-create those experiences and memories, but in a more environmentally friendly and technological way, without the use of paper.”
The team built a functional prototype, which they demonstrate in this video: playgallery.org/video/scribble/. They received a $2,500 prize.
The competition was designed to provide an interdisciplinary effort for students to create and design new toys. The entries were evaluated by a panel of U-M faculty, staff, and outside experts in the toy development and manufacturing field. They chose winners based on the entry’s creativity, marketability, proven function, cost and fun factor.
Other members of the first-place team are Chris Parker, Alexis Stepanek and Penn Green, all Art & Design undergraduate students.
Second place and $1,000 went to the Launch Pad, a toy car with a flipper that overturns it when it’s hit. Third place was shared by Squash Wash, a vegetable washing tool for kids; Imagifort, a customizable fort-building kit; and Eng, an online math learning and space game. Each third place team received $500.
Judges were impressed by the variety of entries they received.
“When I saw that our student presenters were coming to us from such a wide array of academic units, including art and design, engineering and education, I recognized that this competition had catalyzed a real potential for cross-disciplinary connection,” says Nick Tobier, an associate professor in the School of Art & Design who was among the contest judges.
Joshua Pokempner, founder of Giddy Up! toy company and U-M alumnus, sponsored the competition along with the Center for Entrepreneurship.