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Posey: Instrumenting a Poseable Hub and Strut Construction Toy



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Posey Instrumenting a Poseable Hub and Strut Construction Toy Michael Philetus Weller Ellen Yi Luen Do Mark D Gross CoDe Lab Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh PA USA ACME Lab Georgia Tech CoDe Lab Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh PA USA philetus cmu edu ellendo cc gatech edu mdgross cmu edu ABSTRACT We describe Posey a computationally enhanced hub and strut construction kit for learning and play Posey employs a ball and socket connection that allows users to move the parts of an assembled model Hubs and struts are optocoupled through the ball and socket joints using infrared LEDs and photosensors Wireless transmitters in the hubs send connection and geometry information to a host computer The host computer assembles a representation of the physical model as the user creates and configures it Application programs can then use this representation to control computational models in particular domains Keywords Construction Kits Tangible Poseable Toys Categories and Subject Descriptors Figure 1 Assembling a bear puppet with Posey and our Puppet Show application K 3 1 Computers and Education Computer Uses in Education H 1 2 Models and Principles User Machine Systems H 5 2 Information Interfaces and Presentation User Interfaces Input devices and strategies 1 the properties of particular domains For example Lincoln Logs help children understand and explore the design space of log buildings plastic molecule kits Figure 2 b help students build a robust understanding of the geometry of molecules and the inter atomic forces that govern their formation And perhaps most importantly the open ended nature of construction kit play introduces children to the hacker ethos of building things as a way of having ideas A canonical instance of a poseable hub and strut kit is Tinkertoy Figure 2 a which consists of circular wooden hubs with holes drilled in the center and around the circumference and wooden struts of varying lengths Many hub and strut construction kits such as Zome



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