© 2018 by Zhangyan Ling

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CLEANCAT

An Interactive Toy + App

Encourage good habits for kids

overview
Problem

 

A study found that professional success in life, which is what we want for our kids comes from having done chores as a kid. However, it's hard for kids to focus on something they are not interested in for a long time.

So can we encourage kids the good habit of doing clean-up in a better way?

Solution

 

An interactive toy that "gamifies" the clean-up.

The interactive toy, which is called CleanCat, includes an interactive projector, cleaning tools, and an App for tracking the progress. The body, housing the projector, is shaped like a cat and can be attached to brooms or mops. It leads children to do cleaning with interesting games using interactive projection, helping them develop the good habit of cleaning up.

 

The ‘cat’ is a projector that will scan the floor for trash using a distance sensor and project the pictures of fish on the floor. When the trash is swept or mopped, the ‘fish’ will be collected. It makes the whole process of cleanup to be like gathering food for the ‘cat’. At the same time, children’s clean-up achievements will be recorded on the mobile App. There is a wireless charging base for the projector, which looks like a bed for the little ‘cat’.

Duration

Role

Work

Software

Jan 2019

Individual Project

User & market research, ideation and design, CAD modeling, UX & UI, prototyping, video

 
 
Design Process
Discover

 

  • Literature Review

  • Interviews

  • Empathy Map

  • Pain Points

Define

 

  • Problems

  • Strategy

Design

 

  • Ideation

  • Concept

  • Task Flow

  • Low-fidelity Prototype

  • Refined Concept

  • Wireframe

Delivery

 

  • Final UI

  • High-fidelity Prototype

  • Validate

  • Future Improvements

 
Discover
Research
"Kids Who Do Chores Are More Successful Adults"

In the Harvard Grant Study, the longest running longitudinal study in history, researchers identified two things that people need in order to be happy and successful: love and work ethic. "The study found that professional success in life, which is what we want for our kids comes from having done chores as a kid." ——Lythcott-Haims

So, encouraging kids the good habit of doing chores can be important. However:

For kids, it's never easy to do things they may not be interested in, such as doing chores. It's better to play games.

For parents, having kids do chores doesn't necessarily wind up being less work for parents, sometimes even tougher than doing chores by parents themselves.

Literary Review

 

Lit review indicates that it is more effective to learn from play, especially for kids aged 3-7.

Interview & Empathy Map

I interviewed two kids and their parents to see their opinions.

 
Define
Problem + Design Strategy
Problems

1

2

Short-term

Kids are not interested in doing clean-up

Long-term

It is hard to develop the good habit of doing clean-up

Design Strategy

 

  • "Gamify": make it fun to do clean-up

  • Metaphor of pet: stimulates kids' empathy and interest

Hardware/

An interactive toy which motivates kids' interest of doing chores 

Software/

An App for tracking progress which encourages long-term habit

 
Design

Hardware Design

The hardware device is designed to "gamify" the clean-up process. It detects trash on the floor and projects reward icons at the certain positions.

Objectives
  • Encourage the short-term/immediate clean-up behavior

  • Fun and easy to use

Ideation
Selected Concept

CleanCat is an intelligent toy for children aged 3-7 to learn how to clean up.

CleanCat includes an interactive projector, cleaning tools, and an App for tracking the progress. The body, housing the projector, is shaped like a cat and can be attached to brooms or mops. It leads children to do cleaning with interesting games using interactive projection, helping them develop the good habit of cleaning up.

 

The ‘cat’ is a projector that will scan the floor for trash using a distance sensor and project the pictures of fish on the floor. When the trash is swept or mopped, the ‘fish’ will be collected. It makes the whole process of cleanup to be like gathering food for the ‘cat’. At the same time, children’s clean-up achievements will be recorded on the mobile App. There is a wireless charging base for the projector, which looks like a bed for the little ‘cat’.

Cleaning Tools/

Besom

Mop

Dustpan

Hardware/

An interactive projector

Wireless charging base

Software/

App for tracking progress

Sweeping Mode

An embedded scanner will scan the trash on the floor and project fish at those positions. The "fish" can be "caught" by sweeping the trash into the dustpan.

Mopping Mode

The embedded scanner will scan the dust on the floor and project fish at those positions. The "fish" can be "caught" by mopping.

App Design

The App is designed to track and record the progress. Parents may reward their kids based on their progress, and kids can be encouraged by seeing their achievements.

Objectives
  • Encourage the long-term habit

  • Easy to understand: visualize the progress

Initial Task Flow
Initial UI Exploration

Connect

Edit Profile

View Progress

Reminders

Community

Set reminder

Refined Task Flow
  • Simplified features

  • Connect by bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi, which can reduce user actions

Information Architecture
 
Low-fi Wireframe
User Interfaces
App Prototype

1

2

3

Connect Device

Download and open the App to connect to the interactive projector.

View Progress

Check today's achievements and history to see the progress.

Edit Profile

Customize kitten's name and see how long it has accompanied kids.