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The Night the Toys Came to Life

If you're unsure about what to do with those old and unwanted toys abandoned after Christmas, consider toy hacking. Massimo Banzi of Tinker.it came on the show this morning to tell us how, with a few simple tools and some instructions, you can break into the brains of electronic toys and make them do things their manufacturers never imagined. Check out this hack, in which an electronic cat and some LEDs were turned into a homemade laser tag game.

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The toy hacking segment was interesting as a very accessible means for people to get creative with the seemingly scary technology they are buying. No reason not to open up the toys to see what is inside and reappropriate the parts for something new. Very post-modern activity and way of creating.

Maybe this is one little step that Science Educators can take to encourage the children to think beyond the surface features of the toys.

I also struck by the concentration that people have when they are playing a video game and why it would not occur to them to try and take it apart to configure it to something that looks more personal.

The Tinker.it website has some very useful components for extending an initial interest in toy hacking and create complete new interactive objects. I new about Make Magazine but with Tinker.it it make it a lot easier to actually try some of the experiments yourself.

Sent by Ray Garcia | 11:38 PM | 1-6-2008

Recycling, can be creative!

Sent by dania | 12:24 PM | 1-11-2008