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An electronic jumping game designed for children

Skroppy ®

The Challenge

An entrepreneur contacted product designers GX, as he wanted them to develop his idea into a production design for an electronic jumping game aimed at encouraging children away from screen technology and back to having fun outdoors!  GX were asked to translate his idea for Skroppy into a fully functioning electronic, interactive game.

Since the product was aimed at children from as young as 7 up to teenagers or even adults, it needed to have a universal appeal, be straightforward to use and easily transported for use either indoors or out. Bespoke software would be needed to be developed to allow various levels of difficulty, as well as to record the individual scores of up to four players.

The Solution

Whilst the concept for the Jumping game was relatively simple, the first design issue the team at GX encountered was how to incorporate a rotating skipping “rope” into the design. The “rope” would rotate around a central console since the aim of the game was to try to beat the machine by always jumping over the rope. The design engineers decided it would need to be a safer solution to use a ‘virtual’ electronic rope rather than an actual moving part. Their virtual rope was an infra-red beam projected from a rotating disc mounted on a pole that also rose and fell to introduce another challenge to the player. The disc also rotates in both directions. The infra-red beam detects a reflective strap worn around the ankles of the players. If the beam is broken the player loses a life.

This approach relied heavily on bespoke electronic hardware and software designed by the team of electronic engineers at GX. The mechanical design engineers at GX had to design and implement low cost mechanisms and ensure the production electronics were housed in such a way that they were protected from water ingression and rough handling as much as possible. 

The Result

An old playground activity was given a complete modern make over for the digital age. The game utilises light, sound and motion to create a visually appealing and unique product. Through a series of development models the design team at GX developed an initial prototype which was exhibited at toy fairs in the UK. Further refinements were integrated into this first prototype which led to production tooling being designed and commissioned. 

As a result of the team’s dedication finished pre-production prototypes of Skroppy® have been successfully exhibited and even scooped a number of innovation awards.

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