Robot Chameleon Teaches Little Girl About Camouflage


[Markus] has been teaching his daughter about animals using a big old animal encyclopedia. A few days ago, they stumbled upon the chameleon, and when he tried to explain its camouflage abilities, she didn’t quite understand. So he decided to make her a pet color-changing chameleon robot. The best part is he built it during her nap!

It’s a fairly simple circuit consisting of an Arduino Uno, a TCS3200 color sensor with breakout board, a ping pong ball, some resistors, and an RGB LED. He plans on adding temperature sensing as well as a capacitive sensor for touch later on. So far, his daughter loves it and plays with it all the time. She’s starting to learn how some chameleons can change their skin color in order to camouflage — and she’s learning the names of some new colors too!

As always, there’s a demonstration video following the break.

What an awesome dad!


  1. James says:

    Fun idea! However, I’m not sure his daughter will really get any closer to understanding that the main point of the chameleon’s color adaptation ability is blending into the background.. ;) Still very cute toy! :)

  2. Arthur says:

    Relevant: But nonetheless: they often do seem to blend in with their environment for some reason.

    • Neal C says:

      I think it’s probably just that their ‘default-state’ colour has evolved to match their preferred habitat, in the same way that non-changey species acquire camouflage…

      Ze’s “Shamma-Leon” is the best way to pronounce that word :D

  3. Eirinn says:

    And that is why i love the Arduino. If he was to do that with a clean AVR chip in C it would never have happened.

  4. glawery says:

    A lazier or more impatient dad nowadays would only get an explanative clip from youtube:

  5. Ren says:

    Good Job Dad!

  6. Mike says:

    My son and I check Hack-a-Day often and when he saw this I was asked to help him build one like it.

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