Yoli - An IoT project for kids
Yoli is a bridge between the world of new technologies, interactivity, and traditional board games. In January of last year, we met with a client who showed us a prototype of an interactive Arduino-based board game for children. We immediately saw many interesting possibilities for implementation in this simple demo.
To play, you need a Yoli game block and a set of cards. Let’s take, for example, the game Find Similar, where a child is asked to put 5 fruits on the board. If there are potatoes on the board, this card will be automatically discarded. If the task is completed correctly, all the cards with the correct answers will vibrate. There are many sets of cards and their assortment will be regularly updated. With the help of Yoli, a child can study objects, animals and their behavior, household chores, food, and beverages.
Now, back to development. As you probably guessed from the description, the game block and the cards are connected using a magnet. With the help of an electromagnet, interactions - such as dropping the card or vibrating it - are also implemented. This important element became a stumbling block for our client on the way to an easy implementation of their idea. It turns out that the electromagnets available on the market are not suitable for use in this project and several companies weren’t willing to undertake this project precisely because of this complexity.
"Challenge accepted”, we thought, and began to closely study the electromagnet market in search of the right fit. After some time we had to admit that, indeed, the magnet we needed simply didn’t exist. But, if something doesn’t exist, that’s just the perfect excuse to create it. And since we are writing about it here, it means that yes, we did it.
Next? Having developed the key element and making sure it was functional, we set about implementing the next steps with double enthusiasm. We then suggested adding a Bluetooth component to the game, so that it would be more convenient to update the system in the future. At this point, the client had an idea that radically changed the concept of the toy and added a completely new meaning. What was that idea and how did it influence the future of the project? Read all about it in the next part of our article.