Kid Trax makes a wide range of battery-powered ride-on vehicles for toddlers and children up to seven years old. They make super-cool play versions of farm and construction equipment, sports cars, police cars, motorcycles, trucks, dune buggies … you name it.
But what about a ride-on animal?
Inspired by robot “pets” on the market, Kid Trax wanted to make something scaled up and rideable. And what could be better than a pony? Every kid wants a pony.
Design Concepts was challenged to design both a pet and a vehicle. Basically, all the functionality and features of the small-toy inspiration had to be combined with the strength and stability necessary to carry a three-to-seven-year-old rider without tipping.
It was important to Kid Trax that the pony, named Scout, be as real as possible. Interaction is based on sensor feedback, so Scout makes crunching sounds when fed a toy apple or carrot, follows along when led by the reins, and is steered by head direction. Scout even dances with his owner.
Achieving that natural movement, such as a bobbing head and swishing tail, was a significant challenge. Balancing realism, safety and fun required both rigorous math analysis and risk assessment. Once the design was validated, we created the overall structure which included the motors in the front wheels, the leg skeleton, the positioning of the saddle, and the hinged torso with a spring. The enclosure had fit all the necessary electronics and fall within the overall size constraints of its young users, so we scaled the mechanicals inside and tested to make sure they performed reliably even when Scout is getting a workout.
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