(thesis advisor)Katherine Moriwaki
CubeBuddy is a two player gaming and communication platform designed for children ages 10-18, with limited opportunities for social play and peer interaction. It focuses particularly on children who are hospitalized and enduring extended hospital stays in isolated rooms. This project is designed to address feelings of isolation and provide new opportunities for cooperative distance play within the limitations of the medical condition and hospital settings.
Through play the CubeBuddy provides a unique frame for young patients to connect to each other via colored lights and sounds. CubeBuddy is a 6×6” soft, white electronic cube with colorful trimming. Its material is Tyvek, which can be wiped clean and sterilized. Despite being a cube, the toy playfully suggests human characteristics through its two floppy legs but still leaves space for imagination and personal customization with stickers or markers. A wireless module installed in each cube enables its communication features. Interaction with the cubes results in auditory and visual feedback through colored light and sound.
In the future CubeBuddy will be enabled for Internet connection, expanding its distance range and providing new opportunities for games and communication. Also, audio-verbal communication will be added to the feature set.
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