What is the Problem or Opportunity?

There are many interactive toys on the market. The most notable of them is the series of Furbies, designed by Tiger Toys. Although Furby has satisfied its entertainment objective, Tiger Toys' design, however, has several shortages. It is not educational enough in that Furby only churn out random words, and it does not connect with an internet-ready computer. The proposed design, Polly the Parrot, will effectively and efficiently solve the problems with added functionality.

What is the Proposed Design?

Polly is an interactive toy that is just like a real parrot. It can sing, talk and laugh. Polly is also very knowledgeable. He can tell jokes, stories and facts. Polly comes with a built-in vocabulary of 500 "Pollyish" and English words, which make him capable of saying 2000 different phrase combinations. The memory chip also has 500 songs, jokes, stories or facts pre-stored. Polly can communicate with other pollys through infrared signals. What is more? Polly can be connected with an internet-ready computer. Thus the user can download new songs, jokes, facts and stories from the online database. With motors and sensors, Polly can flap his wings, stand on a rod, or respond to tickling. Far more than an electronic toy, Polly is a friend with a personality. Polly the Parrot is designed for ages 4 and up, and requires 4 AA-size batteries.

What is the Difference between the Proposed Design and the Existing Design?

The idea of Polly comes from Furby. Yet it is different from Furby in the following ways. On the one hand, Polly can not only randomly spit out words, but also tell pre-stored stories, jokes, facts or even sing songs. This makes Polly more educational than its counterpart. On the other hand, Polly's ability of connecting with a personal computer enables the user to customize or enlarge his knowledge base, and makes him more playable.

What is the budget constraint?

List of Components Needed by the Toy:
Note: The number behind indicates the cost according to the credit system.
  • Complex Mechanics 50
  • Computational Processor 500
  • Infrared Emitter 50
  • Infrared Receiver 50
  • Memory Storage 500
  • PC Link-up 350
  • Pressure Sensor 100
  • Rumble Motor 50
  • Speakers 200
  • Toy Link-up 350
  • Voice Chip 50
  • Voice Identification 500
  • Voice Recorder 250
Total: 3000

The total cost is thus less than the budget constraint of 3400, which corresponds to approximately $50. This makes the design feasible on the market.