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National Runner Up

OCTAPS

Octaps is an inclusive musical toy for ADHD preschool children (4 to 6 years old), which allow ADHD children to release their energy at home, to let children explore interest in music freely

What it does

OCTAPS provides a modular-based design allowing ADHD children and other children to release their energy at home and play freely. Children can learn to play a song based on guiding or selecting different instrument sounds to create their music.


Your inspiration

Having therapy is the primary treatment for ADHD children. Playing musical instruments is one of the methods in music therapy and can bring many benefits to ADHD children. The ADHD children’s symptoms like hyperactivity and inattention may lead them to have difficulties learning to play musical instruments. However, those behaviors happen to other children, and ADHD children have a more extreme case. Under a competitive society, children are pushed to learn many things, while they should have more opportunities to explore their interests without pressure. Thus, how to let the children explore their interests freely and naturally ?


How it works

OCTAPS consists of two parts: 1) triangle modules; 2) the geometric shape stool. Both of them are designed ergonomically considering the feet size and popliteal height for preschool children . The eight triangle modules that represent the eight musical notes on a full music scale. Each module contains a light strip, a force sensor and speaker inside. The colour of the light strip hints at the different musical notes based on the colour music notation. The force sensor can sense once children tap on the module, the speaker will play the sound. The geometric shape stool has eight surfaces providing the eight triangle modules magnetic wireless charging. The screen on it providing an interface for users to control the products and choose the play modes. A sensor under the cushion can sense when the user seat down, at the same time the screen will flip so that the user can see the interface naturally.


Design process

After the research, I generated five aspects for my project requirements.  Then I did the brainstorming and rated ideas based on five needs. Combined with the market analysis and the rating, I decided to focus on the hyperactivity aspects. I selected three possible ideas and did the rapid prototype to test the interaction. After pilot testing and interviewing ADHD children’s parents, I decided to design the modular design as the final design direction. It allows ADHD children to release energy, and give flexibility for play. In the development of the final design, I faced some challenges. My initial idea is that the eight modules with flat surfaces can be stacked together in a box for better storage, used as a chair, and charging the modules. However, from safety consideration, the surface for the modules would be better to be curvy and smooth to preventing slipping. Later, I found out the geomatic shape allowing eight modules attached to its surface. I considered both foot size and popliteal height referred to children’s anthropometric data for modules and the stool. After that, I finalised the form, considering both comfortableness and aesthetics, and made physical prototypes. Meanwhile, I did wizard testing and pilot testing with prototypes to finalise the interaction.


How it is different

In terms of the development of the final design, I faced some challenges. My initial idea is that the eight modules with flat surfaces can be stacked together in a box for better storage, used as a chair, and charging the modules. However, from safety consideration, the surface for the modules would be better to be curvy and smooth to preventing slippering, which means the idea of the box couldn’t work. Later, I found out the geometric shape allowing eight modules attached to its surface. I considered both foot size and popliteal height referred to children’s anthropometric data when developing the size of both modules and the stool. After that, I spent time finalizing the form, considering both comfortableness and aesthetics, and making physical prototypes. Meanwhile, I did wizard testing and pilot testing with rapid prototypes to finalize the detail of the interaction design.


Future plans

For the future, I would like to explore more scenarios for using the product in detail, like more than one person plays the product, older children or adults play the product, more interactive ways for playing the products. At the same time, I am also looking forward to cooperating with manufacturers, engineers, investment for further testing and launching the product in the market.


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