Noob question KIDS TOY component suggestions

Thread Starter

Andy MacDonald

Joined Dec 11, 2019
11
Hi guys thanks in advance for any help.
If I make a kids toy with a speaker in it. For example it will say goodmorning when ou push the toy.

what would the toy need in order to wirelessly receive a different set of sound bytes or recordings (pre recorded to choose from) to be repeated by the toy the next morning when someone pushed the button.
Would this be a online portal and Bluetooth setup, woh some form of storage on the toy.

any help appreciated, thanks guys
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,676
There are a dozen ways you could do it, but first is there any reason you don't want to store the sound clips on the toy and just choose which one to play remotely? That would be technically simpler.
 

Thread Starter

Andy MacDonald

Joined Dec 11, 2019
11
There are a dozen ways you could do it, but first is there any reason you don't want to store the sound clips on the toy and just choose which one to play remotely? That would be technically simpler.
hi thanks for the reply.

my goal would be a constantly updated library or different files that the owner could choose. Something like a app or website, from a parents phone, or laptop, preferably not via chord but not ruling it out of it is the best way
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,676
"Best way" is 100% subjective. Wired is easier to implement and will have faster transfer rates, but in today's world wireless is all but expected for consumer goods due to the convenience. Bluetooth is probably the most sensible choice since 99.9% of today's phones support it, people know how to use it and it's battery friendly. The downsides are it's not fast and has poor range when you start putting things like walls in-between the devices. But if you keep keep the sound clips small in size, and if you don't need to control it from across the house, then these may be non-issues, it's your decision. Based on the little bit you have described so far, I would personally look for local sound file storage on the toy that can be updated via Bluetooth. You'll need an app for the phone, and you can get combined processor + radio modules from companies such as Nordic, or you can get a pre-certified (by FCC) module from a company like Rigado. There may be better choices, these are just companies I'm familiar with. This will be too much horsepower for what you're doing (higher cost than necessary), but I've had success with Bluetooth + audio projects using the Rigado BMD-340 module and the MAX98357AETE+T audio amplifier. You can get dev boards for both of these, and there are lower cost alternatives to the BMD-340 available from Rigado that should work just as well, just check that it supports the latest Bluetooth standard (faster + more range).

Before you do anything, define your market. Decide what you think you can sell them for, and figure out how much margin you need to turn a profit. Use those numbers to calculate your per-unit budget for manufacturing (and packaging). Get these numbers down before you start designing, as your per-unit cost limits will have a major influence on your design decisions.
 
Last edited:

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
6,152
1) It appears as if your requirements are to update the sound phrase once a day. But even then, how is the toy going to recognize you want to update the sound clip?

2) How much space do you have in the toy, for a sound module, amplifier, wireless module, μC module, storage and speaker?

3) How are you powering the electronics? How long does the power supply have to last? How is the power going to be replenished?
 

Thread Starter

Andy MacDonald

Joined Dec 11, 2019
11
"Best way" is 100% subjective. Wired is easier to implement and will have faster transfer rates, but in today's world wireless is all but expected for consumer goods due to the convenience. Bluetooth is probably the most sensible choice since 99.9% of today's phones support it, people know how to use it and it's battery friendly. The downsides are it's not fast and has poor range when you start putting things like walls in-between the devices. But if you keep keep the sound clips small in size, and if you don't need to control it from across the house, then these may be non-issues, it's your decision. Based on the little bit you have described so far, I would personally look for local sound file storage on the toy that can be updated via Bluetooth. You'll need an app for the phone, and you can get combined processor + radio modules from companies such as Nordic, or you can get a pre-certified (by FCC) module from a company like Rigado. There may be better choices, these are just companies I'm familiar with. This will be too much horsepower for what you're doing (higher cost than necessary), but I've had success with Bluetooth + audio projects using the Rigado BMD-340 module and the MAX98357AETE+T audio amplifier. You can get dev boards for both of these, and there are lower cost alternatives to the BMD-340 available from Rigado that should work just as well, just check that it supports the latest Bluetooth standard (faster + more range).

Before you do anything, define your market. Decide what you think you can sell them for, and figure out how much margin you need to turn a profit. Use those numbers to calculate your per-unit budget for manufacturing (and packaging). Get these numbers down before you start designing, as your per-unit cost limits will have a major influence on your design decisions.
Hi great advice, Thankyou for your reply. I amtrying to get a very lose ballpark figure on cost per unit, but our way seems more logical, work it backwards and see what I can afford per unit. Thanks
 

Thread Starter

Andy MacDonald

Joined Dec 11, 2019
11
1) It appears as if your requirements are to update the sound phrase once a day. But even then, how is the toy going to recognize you want to update the sound clip?

2) How much space do you have in the toy, for a sound module, amplifier, wireless module, μC module, storage and speaker?

3) How are you powering the electronics? How long does the power supply have to last? How is the power going to be replenished?
hi great reply, I’m glad I put noob in the tile, i feel it not that I have read the replies.

it will be some design of teddy bear or elephant soft toy

1) yes basically parents can update the phrases as often or as little as they like, likely to be monthly but this would be up to the users. I guess it would be ok to delete the hard drive of the toys old phrases each time a new set of phrases are introduced , to keep it easier

2) the toys size will basically depend on what needs to be put inside of it so it can be pretty flexible really.

3) power supply is really open for suggestion. As a parent I like the toys the best that get plugged in and charges but batteries are so heap these days. Open to suggestion depending on power needs really

Any help appreciated, thanks for our time
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,676
If it's going to be a kids toy that could be in bed with the kid, I would not use rechargeable batteries. They are safer than they used to be, and fine for most daily stuff, but not safe enough for a kid to sleep with IMHO, too much risk of fire. The electronics will likely operate at 3.3v or lower, so a few AA or AAA batteries would work.

If you're not designing the electronics and software yourself, then have a very detailed spec and very detailed acceptance test defined before you agree on a price, and don't pay 100% up front. Either write these yourself, or work with the developers to create them together, but it is worth the effort. An acceptance test is a rigid set of tests, and both parties agree that when the tests succeed as defined, the product is finished. This prevents the problem of the developers claiming it's done, and the buyer claiming it's missing features or not working properly. Include every detail you can think of, such as how long it will operate on one set of batteries, how loud the speaker will be in dB at 1-foot away, how much audio will fit on it, the exact steps for connecting to it and updating the audio, some way to quantify the expected audio quality, pictures of the user interface, a subset of devices that it must successfully connect and operate with (maybe a few iphones, android phones, etc..), ditto for devices that the software will install and run on, must the software be deliverable through the apple store or google play store, etc.. the more detailed the better. Bonus this will also help you quantify the features, which will help you estimate cost.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
2,257
The cost of making this is highly dependent on the number of units you want to produce.

The technology is not difficult. It needs a microcontoller, bluetooth module, probably additional flash memory.

You could get away with no audio amp, using PWM from the micro to drive MOSFETS for the output.

If you want to build 10 units, you would use something like an Arduino and shields for flash and Bluetooth. Unit cost would be high, but a competent amateur could build it.

If you want 10000 units, it would make sense to have a custom PCB designed and unit cost would be much lower, perhaps as low as a couple of dollars each.

Bob
 

Thread Starter

Andy MacDonald

Joined Dec 11, 2019
11
If it's going to be a kids toy that could be in bed with the kid, I would not use rechargeable batteries. They are safer than they used to be, and fine for most daily stuff, but not safe enough for a kid to sleep with IMHO, too much risk of fire. The electronics will likely operate at 3.3v or lower, so a few AA or AAA batteries would work.

If you're not designing the electronics and software yourself, then have a very detailed spec and very detailed acceptance test defined before you agree on a price, and don't pay 100% up front. Either write these yourself, or work with the developers to create them together, but it is worth the effort. An acceptance test is a rigid set of tests, and both parties agree that when the tests succeed as defined, the product is finished. This prevents the problem of the developers claiming it's done, and the buyer claiming it's missing features or not working properly. Include every detail you can think of, such as how long it will operate on one set of batteries, how loud the speaker will be in dB at 1-foot away, how much audio will fit on it, the exact steps for connecting to it and updating the audio, some way to quantify the expected audio quality, pictures of the user interface, a subset of devices that it must successfully connect and operate with (maybe a few iphones, android phones, etc..), ditto for devices that the software will install and run on, must the software be deliverable through the apple store or google play store, etc.. the more detailed the better. Bonus this will also help you quantify the features, which will help you estimate cost.
Thankyou again. Noting all of his down all
 

Thread Starter

Andy MacDonald

Joined Dec 11, 2019
11
The cost of making this is highly dependent on the number of units you want to produce.

The technology is not difficult. It needs a microcontoller, bluetooth module, probably additional flash memory.

You could get away with no audio amp, using PWM from the micro to drive MOSFETS for the output.

If you want to build 10 units, you would use something like an Arduino and shields for flash and Bluetooth. Unit cost would be high, but a competent amateur could build it.

If you want 10000 units, it would make sense to have a custom PCB designed and unit cost would be much lower, perhaps as low as a couple of dollars each.

Bob
Hi bob, Taking the last two replies into consideration, I’m aiming at higher quantity like you mentioned.
Is it working backwards to do a prototype with the eaisier and more expensive option You wrote above, or would his be working backwards and be a waste of time.
 

Thread Starter

Andy MacDonald

Joined Dec 11, 2019
11
Would it make sence to build it with the more expensive items and components , and then find a manufacturer with a strict acceptance test mr software spoke about?
 

Sensacell

Joined Jun 19, 2012
2,564
Build the prototype by the cheapest, fastest method possible - even if it means the teddy bear has a giant tumor on its back to house the works.

What you will discover in this phase is priceless, it would be foolish to move forward with any manufacturing plans before this stage is completed.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
2,257
I think you have a lot more work to do before determining that you can sell more than 10000 of your killer toy.

You definitely need a prototype. Use Arduino to do this. This allows you to fine tune the design.

Then you need to try it out with kids and their parents. It may go over like a Led Zeppelin -- correction: lead balloon, for all you know.

Then comes test marketing. Which might consist only of a video of it's operation and seeing if you can get the interest of retailers (you are not just going to put this on EBay and sell 10000 yourself.)

Once you are sure you have a hit product, then it is time to get a professional design and look into high quantity manufacturing.


Bob
 

Thread Starter

Andy MacDonald

Joined Dec 11, 2019
11
I think you have a lot more work to do before determining that you can sell more than 10000 of your killer toy.

You definitely need a prototype. Use Arduino to do this. This allows you to fine tune the design.

Then you need to try it out with kids and their parents. It may go over like a Led Zeppelin -- correction: lead balloon, for all you know.

Then comes test marketing. Which might consist only of a video of it's operation and seeing if you can get the interest of retailers (you are not just going to put this on EBay and sell 10000 yourself.)

Once you are sure you have a hit product, then it is time to get a professional design and look into high quantity manufacturing.


Bob
thanks bob. Very helpful. Just like all the other posts. Quickest and cheapest prototype would arduino and see what I’ve got.

I appreciate it
 
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