What’s small, squishy and guaranteed to be more interested in a springy door stopper than in the £100 toy you just bought for them?
Sure, they’re cute. And that post-bath baby smell is intoxicating. We continue to spend our hard-earned money on toys for them, and they continue to be more interested in the box the toy came in. Perhaps it makes sense to give up on expensive toys, and get creative with various bits from around the house instead.
With this in mind, allow me to introduce the Pi-powered Busy Board: a pi-connected collection of things and stuff that make noises when you touch them. Aka Noisy Baby Paradise.
I made a busy bored using a raspberry pi that can be found @ https://www.instructables.com/id/PI-Powered-Busy-Board/
Keeping baby busy
Kenny Lilly, father of a squishy baby from across the pond, used random noise makers from around his house and coupled them with a Raspberry Pi 3, an Adafruit Capacitive Touch HAT and some Bare Conductive paint.
Kenny used stencils to create attractive shapes with the paint. He then hammered copper-plated nails through from the front of the busy board to the back, to create connections between the paint and the HAT.
He used the Adafruit Python library to control the touch functions of the HAT. When the user interacts with the stenciled images, the HAT produces appropriate audio playback.
Kenny used a second piece of wood to make the back of the board, and built a frame using thinner pieces of wood to create a space inside. The electronics are sandwiched inside the Busy Board, and the whole build is then powered by a USB battery, like the one you may keep in your bag to recharge your mobile phone. Finally, with a small speaker connected to the Pi, the build was complete.
The full how-to for building the Pi-powered Busy Board can be found on Kenny’s Instructables page. And if there are any health and safety concerns regarding a small, slobbery baby playing with conductive paint, Bare Conductive assure their customers that their paint is safe and child-friendly. So there you have it. Baby Paradise.
\Have you used a Raspberry Pi to appease your infant overlord? Share your project in the comments below.
I am an experienced website developer with over twenty years of coding and entrepreneurial experience. I founded my own company, Portal Planet, in 2001, and am passionate about helping businesses succeed online. As a skilled WordPress website and plugin developer, Alexa skill developer, and Raspberry Pi/Arduino developer, I enjoy teaching and training others and helping businesses achieve their online goals.