Dinosaurs, barbies and electronic brain transplants

22 Sep 2009
22 Sep 2009

We'll talk about the reasons for toyhacking, not just the fun stuff, like putting dinosaur heads on Barbies, but also the serious stuff, like making electronic toys accessible to the disabled. You will learn how to tell hackable from non-hackable toys. You will learn what tools to use, how to glue things together, and how to do electronic "brain transplants" to bend toys to your will.


Dinosaur brains - Source

Some electronics experience will be helpful, but not required.

Safety equipment will be provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own safety glasses.

Bring toys to hack! (a random assortment will be provided) Suitable toys are non-precious, battery powered electronic or mechanical toys. If it looks like you can take it apart, you probably can. If you paid more than 5 dollars for it, you may not want to. If you feel you could put it back together, you might be able to.

There will be ample time for unstructured (but supervised) hacking, so prepare to roll up you sleeves and make things!

Note: This workshop uses lead-based solder, and various adhesives, including toluene-based styrene cement, and is not recommended for those who are pregnant, considering pregnancy, or nursing.

About the Instructor: Robert Cruickshank is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist. His works in various media including electronic and robotic installations, sound art, electroacoustic music, and photography have been exhibited in Toronto, and internationally. As a long-term member of InterAccess, he has participated in many collaborative projects, such as the shows Space Probe and SenseBus, and the Art Interface Device project. He is currently a member of I/O Media, an InterAccess-based electronic audio/visual improvisational group. He has developed a number of workshops at InterAccess, providing artists with an opportunity to learn electronics, and has assisted numerous artists with the technological challenges of realizing their works.