Chichi the Magician

About Chichi the Magician

Chichi the Magician is a robotic magicians assistant that helps children master the art of "wowing" an audience. By building this robotic prop, students learn that some tricks really ARE magic thanks to technology. Chichi the Magician helps directly translate the awe and amazement that comes from magic into a passion for inventions and engineering.

ROLE:

Learning Experience Designer

DURATION:

3 weeks // 2019

TEAM:

Rachel Daugherty

Fiona Stolorz

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The Brief

What if you could become a magical mind reader? How would you prove to your audience that you have this unique capability? In this immersive magical kingdom, the audience is asked to choose one of four colors WITHOUT telling anyone which color it is. It is the students job to read their minds and tell Chichi which color to display. Chichi the Magician uses her magical robotic powers to reveal the color inside of her mouth!

 

Over the course of this project, students experience a world of enchantment and imagination that builds on their confidence as performers. 

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The Process

Sketches & Prototyping

The prototype for Chichi the Magician was developed for NORY Summer Camp 2019. To kick off the brainstorming process, I made several sketches for robot monster concepts and got feedback from the rest of the curriculum team. 

We already knew which trick we were going to have students perform so it was important to build a creation that would convey it well. There was a unanimous vote for the giant monster sketch seen below that "locks" the audience members' thoughts and reveals them in its mouth. After selecting the sketch, I moved into rapid prototyping the see what construction methods and circuitry could be easily replicated by kids.

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Circuitry & Hardware Exploration

The robotic trick uses an Arduino UNO board to shift the color that gets displayed in Chichi's mouth. When plugging the jumper wire into different ports on the Arduino UNO board, the mouth spins.

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Final Project

 Kids ages 3-12 were all confident creators of this project!