The Toy industry is notably a disaster stricken industry in Europe, suffering from very high competition from low priced American products (Disney, Hasbro, Mattel, Toys'R Us) made in labour intensive or very low wages countries such as China or marketed through other Asian toys manufacturers (from Tamagotchi to soft toys..). According to latest panels, consumers are always looking for affordable toys, but at the same time are interested in products with the latest innovative features. For children, expectations are always higher, toys are perceived as a companion, even as a confident by children. Some would like small domestic robots acting as an human like assistant as seen virtually in some TV programs. Children want more and more to imitate olders' child behaviour and want to have sophisticated up to date products. Only the integration of the latest technologies, could answer to the potential demand for real added value toys which could be at the same time safe, interactive and educational. This project addresses a new approach to Intelligent Fluffy Toy design, with enhanced safety and communication features through the use of neural network technology. As we will develop it later on, Neural Network technology is a perfect tool for imitating brain's own problem solving process, in patterns recognition, to spot individual differences and for correct analysis of video based movements tracking. We aim to include all intelligent hardware in a sealed box, with 2 cards (one Main and one Optional) and all components, which could be removable. In fact, considering that most l`igurelike or animal shaped toys are empty inside the toy's body, we could easily add these new functionalities inside the body and preserve toys general appearance. The multi tasks oriented, integrated and miniaturised cards developed with this technology could also be utilised for other industrial uses. Indirect benefits of this research could apply directly in the domotics and robotics industry. The Intelligent Fluffy Toy (IFT) project should test consumer demand for sophisticated and safe toys through a future developed products range. We expect a 2 year research project, prior to manufacture and commercial display.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
78100 Saint Germain En Laye
36393 Sabaris Baiona Pontevera