With my friend Brandon Stafford, I’m building a programmable dollhouse. Each of the five rooms will have a programmable RGD LED light. These lights will be wired into a Rascal Micro, which will host a web page that allows remote control of the lights. My daughter will pull up this page on an iPad, and she’ll be able to program the rooms to be lit in a color, or in a pattern or sequence of colors. Christmas, Halloween, and Disco Party seem like important early efforts.
As I was growing up, my father was often building things. The first TV I remember was a Zenith that he built from a kit. When I was in elementary school, we built a programmable robot, that was about the size of an R2-D2 unit. It would play games, sing and dance, and run an elementary security routine. I suppose I must have some deep seated sense that proper parenting involves building programmable toys.
It’s exciting that my daughter is growing up in a resurgent period of DIY creativity, now dubbed the Maker Movement. Part of this project is me building a fun dollhouse for my daughter, part of this project is building a space to teach her that the world is to be hacked, and part of this project is finding a way for me to be involved and connected with the Makers. And another part is just ginning up a really cool demonstration project for the Rascal Micro.