It’s probably pretty obvious to most parents that music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora aren’t really designed with children in mind. Kids don’t usually know the proper names of songs or which artist performs them, and are much more likely to ask for “the song with the snowman.” In the days of physical media, they could at least grab the correct CD off the shelf by recognizing the artwork, but that’s not feasible with our modern digital music libraries.
Chris Campbell was faced with that problem, and decided to build Qrocodile to turn his kids into master DJs. Qrocodile resembles — you guessed it — a crocodile, and is made from Lego and houses a Raspberry Pi and a camera module. QR codes printed on paper slips trigger commands on the Raspberry Pi, which in turn controls a Sonos stereo system.
We’ve seen similar builds done with RFID, but the QR code method is a pretty good idea because a slip of paper is still a lot cheaper than even the cheapest NFC tags. That adds up here, because Qrocodile doesn’t just play a particular song or album. There are cards for everything from changing the source to a record player, to creating playlists, to simply skipping the song. If you’re looking for an easy way for you kids to control the music, this is affordable and you can let the kids help you build the enclosure from LEGO.