Hopping Toy Design

September '16 - October 16'

This hopping toy was designed as part of a project introducing students to the design process of researching, sketching, prototyping, and creating. By way of these principles, I created a toy whose trigger was two hardboard members whose pendulum-like swing un-locked a spring via the release of a wooden dowel

The Beginnings

I began this process by searching for bio-inspiration in local green areas, and sketching what I'd found. I also researched the jumping mechanisms of insects called "click beetles", in hopes to imitate its sudden jumping movement.

The Remaining Process

Once I collected information on biological hopping mechanisms, I began creating sketches and building cheap, rapid prototypes using cardboard, Popsicle sticks, hot glue - any cheap material I could access. After many changes and improvements to the design, I created my final product via laser-cut hardboard. While it did not jump as high as anticipated due to a minimum weight requirement unknown until the last minute, using a higher spring-constant spring (while considering the resulting stresses on the rest of the toy) would have remedied this issue.