Hypno-Jellyfish Is Great For Kids (and Kids At Heart)


LED’s are fun. They are easily seen, not to hard to hook up, and produce a nice glow that can be gazed at for hours. Kids love them, so when [Jens] daughter was born, he knew that he wanted to create a device that would alternate colors depending on the object’s movement.

He utilized a mpu6050 accelerometer to detect changes in position, and wired together an Arduino Nano, a 9V battery, and a 12 LED neopixel ring from adafruit. Design requirements were jotted down beforehand ensuring that any child playing with the Hypno-Jellyfish would not be injured in any way. For example, anything that fits in a child’s mouth, will go in that child’s mouth; meaning that any materials used must be non-toxic, big enough not to be swallowed, and drool proof/water proof. The kids will pull, and throw, and drop the toy as well, so everything has to be of sturdy quality too. Epilepsy is also a concern when dealing with LED’s. But, [Jens] project hit the mark, making something that is kid-friendly while at the same time enjoyable for anyone else who likes color-changing lights.

The steps involved started by stripping the wires and inserting them into strands of paracord. Next, the electronics were rigged in place; followed by the making of the jellyfish from Polymorph plastic which was heated up above 60° C, transforming it into a soft and translucent material that can be crafted by hand. The end results looks something like this photo.


After molding the jellyfish, the final step in the process is the code, which is based on the i2cdevlib and the Adafruit’s neopixel library. [Jens] uploaded work can be found in his Github repo.

Now, if you don’t have kids, you can always develop this project for painting light. An example of what is possible can be seen below as letters are spelled out with the Hypno-Jellyfish that floats gracefully through the air.


A demo video is embedded below:

9 thoughts on “Hypno-Jellyfish Is Great For Kids (and Kids At Heart)

  1. Are u sure you’ve addressed all the safety concerns?
    I’ve used polymorph, its good stuff, albeit a bit resistive to being put into specific shapes and angles without needing to be jigged up whilst it sets. Toxic to being sucked on? Im not sure.
    Wont those tentacles snap off, making a choking hazard?
    How about being able pulling the jellyfish body lid away from the base? Get into the electronics.
    Have you compared this to baby toys, which are typically large, bulky, etc. no small parts.
    The absolute LAST thing I’d want is for a creation of mine being responsible for injuring a baby!

    1. First thing to point out, every parent is responsible for their child and have the freedom to choose what toys they allow them to play with. Toddlers should never be left unattended while playing with toys.

      Since polymorph plastic is approved by the (FDA) to be used in the human body I consider it to be safe enough to be sucked on but this is up to everyone to decide for them selfes.

      The tentacles has been thoroughly tested by me and they will not snap off. Even if a tentacle were to snap off I have made them log enough to no fit in to a babys mouth.

      The lid is safely attached to the bottom an by all appearances the whole jelly fish is one piece of solid plastic.

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