We develop socially and emotionally through play, but for children with disabilities, opportunities for play can be hindered through hospitalizations and extended separation from friends and family. Play:Connected employs connected devices to foster play for children with disabilities through real-time streaming video and internet controlled toys.
For children with disabilities in medical facilities, the Internet offers a connection to the lives of parents, siblings, and friends. Though their bodies might not be able to inhabit the same place, they can still play through the networks that connect people with a wider world.
Play: Connected features an internet controlled rover streaming video and audio to a child in a remote medical facility. Built from various microcontrollers, motors, and electronic components, the rover senses and responds to play with other children. In its current iteration, the rover engages other children via a foam-dart turret mounted on the device and activated by the child remotely. Others can retaliate via a sensor embedded in another foam-dart gun. When fired at the rover, the sensor activates a turret in the remote child’s room, discharging foam darts at him or her.