Arduino the Cat, Breadboard the Mouse and Cutter the Elephant from hmt on Vimeo.

Media artists and design houses around the world: you’ve got nothing on this group of eight to eleven-year old English girls, bravely exploring interaction design, soft toy hacks, and physical computing using the open source Arduino platform to animate cats, mice, and elephants.

Just how comfortable are these kids with technology? Comfortable enough that a robotic, killer elephant with glowing eyes is “cute.”

Give them a couple of decades, and I think they’ll invent Cylons. I can’t wait.

Thanks to Kyle McDonald and Memo Akten for sending this my way. As Kyle puts it:

Metaphor: "Could you put it in it’s head like a brain?"
The joy of interactive art: "Ah, that’s so cool!"
The joy of conceptual art: "I love diagrams!"
Hacking consumer devices: "We could just attach it to a remote control car."
Developing scripts: "When sensor is deactivated by…"
The frustration of similarity: "My idea was to do a walking dog!"
There is so much here. This is like the entire media art scene rolled into one six-minute video.


Now I have to sing “I believe that children are our future…”

More information: Seaweed Studio Workshop

They add in that blog post:

It was interesting to see the contrast between the two groups – the younger ones appear to me more cautious to stay within boundaries of what they have previously seen as they worry about many things being ‘impossible’, which for me was quite unexpected. They had less patience with trying to learn the technological parts, although had a good idea of how the flow of action should be for their ideas. Given a slower teaching pace and a more graphical interface, I believe they would have gained much more control over what was happening.

  • cat

    Thats well cute! Hope the cylons look like fluffy elephants tho!

  • All learning should be like this. So cool! How nice to see such JOY in the process!!! Smart kids. There is hope for the future!

  • Lukas

    Some more info and pictures..

  • Neb

    I remember a series of learning experiences similar to this one, at about the same time in my life. I'd say today that it was a defining moment, enabling the work I do today.

    Projects like this suggest that for education to be effective it must present a recursively sound experience. Learning/teaching exercise(s) work best when they represent scaled-down versions of "real-life" scenarios, without prejudice or bias to specific learning styles.

    Go kids!

  • Pingback: English girls Arduin-ify plush like nobody’s business | SquareCows()

  • This lady is an amazing teacher, she has great authority and presence and they are all so engaged! Great to see a lucky bunch of smart kids, well done all 🙂

    PS Arduino rocks

  • Pingback: Ni?as y Arduino()

  • Testing comments on CDMCore template.

  • Peter Kirn

    But what is going on, I wonder?

  • What if I make another comment?
    Which spreads over multiple lines?
    Would that help perhaps?

  • The rogue comment returns.

  • A comment posted while logged out.

  • Another logged out comment.