Fisher Price Keyboard Hacked to Play Van Halen and Toto

It’s incredible the amount of technology that goes into kids’ toys today. With NFC tags to control actions, animatronics, tiny screens…

Jeremy S. Cook
2 years agoUpcycling

It’s incredible the amount of technology that goes into kids’ toys today. With NFC tags to control actions, animatronics, tiny screens, and a variety of sound effects and music clips, it’s sad that these wonders of technology mostly end up in landfills. A few lucky units, however, get upgraded into something far beyond what they were originally intended to be, like this former Fisher Price keyboard from redditor Wilksyonreddit.

The upcycled device is now powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero W, and while it can’t play Star Fox or Mario Kart, it does now features several modes. There’s a standard piano, a music sample player, a looper, and even an Internet radio mode to take advantage of the Raspberry Pi’s WiFi abilities. The toy also allows for volume control without an external dial.

While externally pristine-ish, the insides are described as a “complete mess” with “loads of hot glue.” Still, it seems that if the hot glue doesn’t show externally, that’s acceptable, and the device looks like a lot of fun in its demo video. Software for the project is written in Python, and it even includes a secret WiFi fart trigger that the father (a self-described “small child at heart”) can trigger via his smartphone.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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