Rolling Ramp

The Rolling Ramp is a toy designed for children in which they can interact with a ball that is moved by gravity and that plays sounds and lights up LED lamps when the ball reaches specific parts of the ramp. Conductive paint was used on the track to bend the sound produced by a toy keyboard piano.

The process started with the exploration of different games for children, inspired by a marble run. This quickly evolved into the idea of building a collaborative game where two players would have to press buttons simultaneously when the ball would touch certain spots in order to light up LED lamps. After a quick round of prototyping, that idea was reshaped because the time to press the buttons while the rolling ball was touching the conductive material was too short, which made the interaction very challenging and not fun enough.

Now, the Rolling Ramp is a collaborative game for children where they can play together at their own pace and can create melodies while lighting up LEDs. The result is an educational and playful game.

Throughout the process, different materials and shapes were tested for the ball and for the ramp before deciding on the final form. To make the feedback loop clearer, the circuitry and the contact points between the ball and the ramp were also redesigned after testing the initial prototypes.

In this one-week exploratory course, it was very beneficial to learn not only the basics of materials of electronics but also to understand the value of prototyping early on and iterating often to improve the final outcome.