Original Budget Memo

My Interactive Toy project has been somewhat stagnant so far, due to a lack of enthusiasm on my part. However, last night, I realized that the problem with my proposed project is that it lacks interactivity. I am proposing a new project, which is based on my old project, but with significant changes. My initial proposal was for a room guard type of toy, which could also talk to the user and tell the current time. The physical format of the toy was to be a robot. I am now proposing a toy based on this robot idea, but highly interactive. The basic concept is a samurai robot.

For solo play, the robot will include altimeter and acceleration sensors and a voice chip so that the robot can respond verbally to changes in its orientation and acceleration. For example, the toy could make rocket sounds when it is moved in a flying motion, or it could say that it wants more action. The robot will also have a special samurai sword that would light up when placed in the robot's hand.

The really exciting aspect of this toy is the way it can interact with other samurai robots. Each robot will have an infrared emitter and receiver so that the two robots can tell when they are close to each other. Like any honorable samurai, the robots then begin a virtual battle, where the victor will be the one with the greatest combination of strength and experience. Strength will be an intrinsic property of each robot, but experience must be gained in two ways (Note: Robots with a lower strength value will be faster learners than robots with a higher strength value). The first way to gain experience will be to battle other robots. The second way will be with some sort of game that the user will play with the robot. The game will be a simple game of reflexes or memory that can be played using the small LCD screen and buttons on the robot's back. This LCD screen will also give information about the robot's status, including strength, experience, and how many battles it has won and lost.

The toy will be available in several different models, each one with varying levels of strength and rates of learning. This toy combines features of a "smart" action figure for solo play and a virtual pet for group play. I also plan on incorporating numerous LEDs and transparent colored plastic parts with the sound feature to provide feedback for various actions.


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