A design team from Penn created this sewable electronics kit for kids - Technical.ly Philly

Creative

Jan. 16, 2015 9:46 am

A design team from Penn created this sewable electronics kit for kids

It's a circus circuit kit called Cirkits (say that three times fast), and it wants to teach kids the basic concepts of circuitry via sewing.

The Cirkits team, left to right: Yasmin Kafai, Celia Lewis and Amanda Suarez.

(Photo courtesy of Cirkits)

Two things you generally don’t want your children playing with are needles and electrical hardware. Cirkits aims to change that.

The product, designed by an interdisciplinary team of Penn professors and graduate students, is intended to introduce children to simple series and parallel circuits by way of sewing circus animals.

Kids can sew six different characters, each varying in degree of difficulty. There’s the weightlifting mouse with light-up biceps, a monkey on a bicycle riding around a hoop and a singing elephant.

Cirkits GIF!

Cirkits character cards in action. (GIF courtesy of Cirkits)

Each character card comes with conductive thread, a plastic sewing needle and a battery. More advanced cards are accompanied by sets of electronics, including LEDs, motors, buzzers and microcontrollers.

So how’s it work?

Kids are prompted to weave the conductive thread through felt animal outlines. They start with the basic card and gradually advance to more complicated characters. All six characters can then be added to a complete board, which is screen-printed with conductive ink (very cool). Add a battery to the board and watch as the circus comes to town.

The creators have designed Cirkits to inspire a new generation of makers. “We wanted to ensure our product facilitated playing and learning, a key concept behind our research,” said Cirkits designer Taylor Caputo, who is currently pursuing her Master’s in Integrated Product Design at Penn.

Caputo and the rest of the Cirkits team have been working on this project for five years now, with demonstrations at Free Library branches and The Franklin Institute.

Before the team can get Cirkits on the market, they need to meet their Kickstarter fundraising goal of $15,000.

Support by Feb. 15

Advertisement

-30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

Why working with the University City Science Center was a game changer for 4 Philly startups

Join the team behind a reimagined approach to consumer finances

In Philly, less than a fifth of all VC dollars go to women-founded companies

SPONSORED

Philly

Why working with the University City Science Center was a game changer for 4 Philly startups

Philadelphia, PA

PromptWorks

Director of Product Design

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Perpay

UX Designer

Apply Now
Chesterbrook, PA

Deacom

Inside Sales Representative

Apply Now

South Jersey’s Wodify hops across the Delaware, moves HQ to Center City

Orai lands $2.3M seed round led by Comcast Ventures

Live Philly wants to liven up your weekend

SPONSORED

Philly

Take a peek at the opportunities popping up at PromptWorks

Horsham, PA

Penn Mutual

Software Engineer-Java

Apply Now
Ambler, PA

IntegriChain

Data Engineer

Apply Now
Center City

Inspire

Product Manager – Sales Tools

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!