Barnyard Booms    
MIT, Spring 2009

Class: Toy Product Design
Team Size: 5 people
Duration: 4 months
Project: Design a toy related to the arts.

Barnyard Booms are a set of barnyard animal shaped drums that are designed to introducetoddlers to music. Tapping on the drum pad produces one sound typical of that animal, and shaking the toy produces a second characteristic sound. The toy can also be switched to song mode, where the user can tap out the notes to a song (such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb") on each beat. Barnyard Booms function as a multi-sensory, age-appropriate music experience for toddlers, while being cute and appealing for both children and their parents.

Each Barnyard Boom contains a capacitance sensor underneath the drum pad to sense tapping as well as a 3-axis accelerometer to detect shaking.These are wired to a micro-controller that outputs sound to a speaker whenever either sensor is activated. Barnyard Booms are made of hard, durable plastic to withstand the rough and tumble play of toddlers.

It is easy to imagine this concept being expanded in the future to include other animal sets, such as Arctic Booms or Safari Booms.

The final prototypes shown at the top of the page were 3D-printed from the CAD models above.

Early sketch models for Barnyard Booms.