This is a portfolio about ITSY


Problem Space

Due to the prevalence of using electronic devices, children are incorporating less motor skills to learn and play in their daily lives. Research has shown that there exists long-term and short-term health benefits in physical and cognitive domains with higher levels of physical activities. However, young children today are mostly sedentary for a long period of time, and early childhood is the most important period to develop motor and cognitive skills.

Team Concept

In order to address the problem, the team concept of the project is to provide toddlers an interactive and playful learning experience while incorporating their motor skills. Thus, we introduced ITSY, as shown in the image on the right. The user responds with the toy by squeezing and shaking its limbs to input their actions and ITSY will respond with mainly voice feedback with lights and vibration as the auxiliaries.

Individual Focus

My individual focus is to create a playful and interactive learning experience for children to learn through physical interacting and help develop their basic and cognitive skills. The concept allows children to practice their basic skills such as memorising, reaction capability and detect specific patterns with the benefits of exercising their small muscles control. Several mini games will be developed to assist children to improve their motor skills and practice their basic capabilities. The goal of the project is to gamify the learning experience by recursively practicing and to allow children to immerse in the learning environment and further create habits.

Final Delivery-

A scenario of use would be when children are alone, they can interact with the product to practice their basic skills and build up their cognitive capabilities. The children will place ITSY in front of them and press the button to start the game. There are three challenges which the system will increase the number of light sequences for users to complete as the level increases. The product will give user feedback according to the users behaviour, such as whether the user successfully completes the challenge, or the instructions of the flow.

User Flow-


Physical Built

Circuit Diagram


The plush bear provides children a sense of belonging due to its fluff and comfortable feeling, so that it is the best type of toy for us to implement the project in. The four patches on the bear’s palms and soles are made by clays with the colour spellings on to gradually educate the children. The colours of the patches are chosen based on the colour of the leds since the children cannot easily identify different saturations of the same colour. The position of the patches is also based on the relative position of the LEDs such as blue on the top left and yellow on the top right, so that the children can directly interact with the game.

The Code

The audio outputs allow better user experiences in terms of welcoming the users, guiding them through the game and presenting results. The speaker is placed around the bear’s mouth so that the product is more realistic and complete. The audio output function is completed with the DFplayer and the speaker. The audios are stored on the SD card before inserting into the DFplayer and will then be retrieved under different situations. The example code is listed below, where the first line of code defines the volume of the output and the second plays the first file in the SD card. The different audio files will be called based on different situations, such as the first file at the beginning when the user entered the game.

The FSR sensor detects the user's pressing level in order to remind the children to control their use of strengths and prevent violent actions. The function is placed as a ‘Next level’ button as when the users complete the challenge, they have to press the ‘right ear’ to head to the next challenge or replay the game. The image below is the code of the pressure sensor. As the user’s pressing level exceeds 50, it jumps to the next challenge and when the pressing level exceeds 550, it triggers the ‘Owch’ audio output.

Each button is connected to a LED, so that when the button is clicked, the LED will lighten up and the buzzer will output a specific tone for each light. The frequency of the light sequence and the duration of the entry time limit are adjusted so that they are suitable to the target age group.

Design Process-


Concept & Prototype

My ideal product was to design a series of games that help children to develop their basic and cognitive skills. However, due to the limitation of time and technical skills, I have only completed one of the games. Despite that, the final product still perfectly delivers my concept with incorporating suitable motor skills and shaping the children’s cognitive skills.

My project achieves the goal of creative learning since it is playful, interactive, and educational. The product gamifies the learning experience to create a playful environment, and it also allows users to physically interact with the bear to practice their motor skills. The concept is that the team is building one prototype with different functionalities, thus, we are using the same type of plush toy as the physical item. Compared to other projects within the domain, the others have greater physical interaction, such as the twist concept. However, due to the size limitation of the physical item/fluffy bear, there is a restriction of the level of physical interaction.

My project has 90% meets the project’s desired outcome, since it clearly delivers the concept, however, the scale of the project is not achieved. My project is comprehensive in terms of user experience, as it provides adequate feedback and input for users to interact and smoothly go through the process. Based on the feedback from the user testing, the respondent can interact with the product without further instructions, and the output of audio and lights are adequate for the prototype. The other benefit of my project is that it establishes behaviour boundaries so that the children can understand the human value and the correctness of their behaviours.

Criteria of successfulness

• Whether the user enjoy the game - Playfulness
• Whether it is easy to use / without instructions - Usability
• Whether the children’s performance is improving - Practice skills


Overall, the exhibition went smoothly as the team collaborated well to deliver our project to the audience. At the beginning of the exhibition, the team was not familiar with the delivery form and was quite unsure what to do at first when the guests came to our chat room. However, we managed to get used to it and started to develop our own project delivery approach. I have received several feedback either from the guests or my teammates.
• Interesting way to present the concept and the prototype is well-designed
• The prototype perfectly presents the concept and the logic of it is really clear.
• One of the classmates like the idea of the team getting the same teddy bear so that the visitors can easily see that the prototype comes from the same concept
• The audio feedback itself is distracted thus, is not clear enough to be presented through the video and the user may not be able to understand clearly
• The tone of the audio is not friendly enough and the use of word is too complex for the target age group
• Interesting to see the how the prototype is building in the bear