Turtles, Basketballs and Ice Skating

So there’s this turtle. And when you flip it over, a tilt switch is activated. The switch powers some motors connected to gears to create the effect of turtle legs wriggling in the air. Why am I making this? To tell kids not to flip turtles.

As much as I would love to make this turtle and be able to explore gear making, I realize that the switch isn’t very interesting. So no turtles for me.


Now you’ve learned that I like turtles. But I also like basketball. Idea 2 is a basketball dribble counter. Coding the counter would be an amazing way to understand computer logic. But you can also just count dribbles in your head. And this isn’t really a switch. So no basketballs for me.


The idea I’ve decided to commit to is a huge challenge. It’s basically Leila’s J-LO spinning toy but in human form. As a figure skater, I like to spin around at high speeds. Figure skating outfits would be a great platform for new technologies to be incorporated into performances. So what if the outfit lit up while you’re spinning?

I’ve discussed structural designs with Becky, Jon, Natsuki and Boris who have all given me great directions. It’s going to be hard and it might involve the testing of springs, knitted conductive fabrics, marbles, weights or string. I’m not sure if I can succeed, but I will start off with dissecting Leila’s teardown toy.

To test this off-ice, I could spin around in a rolly chair or ship my off-ice skate spinner training tool up from Texas to spin around in the VFL among the saws and blades.


Please let me know if you have any ideas on how to build this thing!!!

Innovative Switch Ideas by Judy


Leg Cross- use conductive fabric at knee area so that when legs are crossed hem of pants or back waist of pants light up…


Dog chasing tail-  eyes light up when mouth makes contact with tail.


Hunter/Lumber Jack – rabbit lights up when axes hits neck.

Switches by Qi



I always wear hair band and this is how I tie them on my head. So I am wondering maybe when the two end reach each other it’ll switch on something.




Inspired by the witches’s orbs, I want to make a switch that when your hands get closed to it, it will turn on. And the light would be bright when you get closer. Feels like magic~

Jon Switches.



A magnet is attached to a spring that keeps it’s held back until another magnet draws it forward, connecting the two contacts.

Stretch Switch


Non elastic pieces are sewn to an elastic band. When the band is stretched, the contacts touch!

Temple Flex Switch


A hard frame suspends flexible cloth with a metallic contact on one side and a non metallic contact on the other. A second contact is placed over the first contact so when teeth are grit, the users temple flexes, pushing the two contacts together. Simple right?


Panisa’s Ideas on Switch





This idea is my favorite. I’ve seen this magnetic hourglass before, but without electronic feature. If this design is possible, I would like to work on the form…this one is too boring!




I feel like the more challenging part of this design is not the switch but the mechanism of the balance scale (unless I buy an existing one and install a switch!) So I’m not so keen on this one.





This is a maze game. I need to work more on the rules of the game and still have to figure out where the switches are located.