TinyFlaccid TubbyBox: Dipsy

This TubbyBox started life as an interactive Teletubby Dipsy, a fairly advanced kid's toy by Microsoft/ActiMates.
Similar to Po and LAla.

This is the second of a series of TubbyBoxes I'm building, a series that will total 12 (3 variations of each of the 4 Teletubbies) and each will feature a unique casing.

This one I like so much I'm going to keep it. When I do a series, I always make sure to keep one for myself, and this one's it. But, maybe down the line I'll build a better one...?

The switch configuration is the same as with LAla, just recased differently. Bottom switch is power. Sound is triggered either by pushing on the LED matrix display screen itself (the "television" in the teletubby's tummy, which advances thru the different "games") or pushing the buttons on each side of the screen (these equate to the hand and feet buttons of the original toy, which advance play within each "game"), and glitch is initiated by the second switch from the bottom. Then, the 2 rows of 5 SPDT switches (each of which have 3 positions: center is neutral (off) and up & down glitch) cause the machine to spew ridiculous amounts of glitchy goodness. The switches are additive and somewhat random: depending on the status of the sound coming out, a flick of a switch may do nothing, but a second later, the same switch may change the sound in an unexpected way.

The cool thing is when the switches are thrown and the sound meanders and stutters through its glitches the display freaks out in very interesting and abstract ways. And, in a certain setting (not sure what the pattern of switches needs to be) your touch on the switches freaks out the display even more. Neat!!!

The box I found on ebay. It was an empty project enclosure of some sort that worked perfectly. I bought some project wood from a craft store and stencilled and stained it to make it look old. Brass, nickel, & copper screws and rack handles completed the esoteric lab equipment look I was going for.

Here are more construction shots, for those of you who like that kind of stuff. Enjoy.

Here is my 4 year old son, Fin, giving Dipsy a go. He loves this gadget and plays with it often...and he runs around with the severed Teletubby heads too...

Completed: 5/21/06
Dimensions: 6" high x 7.5" wide x 8.5" deep
Current Status:

I gaze lovingly at it daily.

Audio Bits:

Even better: Check out this movie of Dipsy in action! (QT 4Mb)