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A piggy bank whose frown gradually changes into a smile when money accumulates in it

Image credit: 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte May 26, 2022
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When money accumulates in a piggy bank, its frown gradually changes into a smile.
To motivate children to save money
How it works
As the weight of the coins in the pig increases, a transducer channels a visible dark fluid into more concave shapes, thereby giving the appearance that the pig transitions from a frown to a smile or grins wider as more as more money is put into it.
Creative contributions


Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jun 07, 2022
l love this idea, I could imagine multiple variations of the same concept. It could be an entire series of products.
  • A character whose belly comically swells as money is accumulated.
  • A character stuck in a well or a pit of some sort and looks to climb out gradually as the weight of the money saved gradually weighs down a counterweight that pulls it up.
  • A piggybank that gradually reveals a secret or a code as you save (perhaps reaching the goal amount unlocks a reward compartment that parents can fill with rewards of their choosing. I imagine parents telling children that they need to save up half of the money for something they want, and when they reach the desired amount they gain access to the other half, given by their parents)
I'm sure there are more creative designs we can come up with to incentivize children to save money. Perhaps this could make a cool session.
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counting coins into animatronics.

Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo Sep 28, 2022
Considering price of toy electronics usually are at accessible price, could be consider directly work into an animatronic piggy face that controls and retains changes on expression while accounting savings. Besides the interactive interface the piggy bank will require a control unit that supervises the incomes. So one could with this information create a sort of saving report.
Pursuing a delicate balance between aesthetics and functionality is key for consumer products. I see an opportunity in manufacturing an animatronic robotic face that is designed to deform a silicone or other natural rubber-like product, to create the gesture of the piggy face. Considering the cost of design could be amortized to a lot of production, the expense of using a toy capable robot mechanism to control the interface sounds viable and feasible to me. To this point I do not found viable the project as a open source but ¿wouldn’t be amazing if someone with deeper knowledge on this field contribute on how could it be feasible as an open source project (I found complicated from the point of view that the silicone piggy require a industrial manufacturing, so expenses on molds and injection process manufacturing are required). At least here could be a business idea and I’m willing to be part of it. Call me in ;)
Because the piggy bank will require an instrument to account incomes, that same system could be used to generate statistics as an added value of the product. This information could be sent via bluetooth or similar wireless media that does not increment considerably the final product price and there are aligned with the product strategy. Everyone that saves is interested in the saving data, right! This will be a fun way to encourage children to learn about finances.
How it works
Face animatronics (robotic mechanism) is one of the killer apps of animatronics developments. It is well documented how to move eyes, mouth, nose, etc. So adjusting a design to the project could be feasible to do. The idea will be to elaborate the cash flow to incorporate suppliers and come to a minimum viable production lot (after doing a pilot test). I forecast that a mechanism to physically manipulate piggy expression could increase cost by less than 4usd, something between two to three usd could be achieved. The input control unit to count savings will increase cost by another similar amount, there are standard coin counters that with the shape of the coin it controls which coin has been put in. Because this is a toy to learn something about finances, there is no need for a specialized hard to cheat money counting system. If the product will receive coins and bills further analysis should be made on this creative contribution.
So with the toy-like robotic mechanism attached to a natural rubber-like face whose thickness has been engineered, and with a coin counter electronic as an input device, the product will handle the expression interface and manage accounting statistics. Powered by standard batteries, designed for low power consumption and maybe some extra programming to handle end of battery information.
What do you think of these enhancements?
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Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo2 years ago
On the commented subjects as animatronics and coin counters devices there is a lot of information on the web, I post here just two references for basic introduction. If it is believed we will require more detail or better references please say so, and we can contribute with further detail.

[1]Robert J. Fitzpatrick, 2012, Designing and Constructing an Animatronic Head Capable of Human Motion Programmed using Face-Tracking Software, https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/213002915.pdf

[2]coin counter example image, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/images.linnlive.com/c1c72948fd87ad8eae3039e339965f2d/8f061278-25aa-47da-98ac-dc376a948be3.jpg

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