It’s time to play in the tub! Wind up the paddling puppy and watch him swim. This toy is great for kids ages one to four with some help from a supervising adult. The Paddling Puppy is not only entertaining to watch during bath time, but is educational as well. This toy introduces children to the concepts of buoyancy and propulsion at a very young age.
The paddling puppy contains a spring-loaded gear box which drives linkages that are connected to the puppy’s legs and tail. The puppy’s front and hind legs are driven in a circular motion very similar to the actual motion that a dog uses to swim. In addition, the puppy’s tail will wag back and forth as he swims. All the child or parent has to do is wind up the puppy and place him in the water.
The trick to making the Paddling Puppy swim is not only in the motion of his limbs, but also is his purposefully cupped paws. As the puppy moves his limbs, his paws will scoop and push water back forcing his body forward. As children observe the scooping and pushing motion of this toy, they will get an idea of how people swim! Finally, the puppy is carefully designed so that his body cavity will not fill with water while he is floating in the tub. This allows the puppy to remain afloat and keep his head above water as he swims.
Rubber seals connect the puppy’s limbs to his body and provide the flexibility and range of motion necessary for him to swim. The remainder of the parts will be made of a light plastic material and weighted such that the puppy will not roll onto his side while swimming. The cost of this product will be relatively low because of the material chosen and because the concept of a wind-up gear box is already widely in use. Parents generally supervise young children while they are bathing, so there is naturally a smaller risk of children being harmed by this toy. However, the Paddling Puppy is made of light wight material and is large enough to avoid the potential of being swallowed. This ensures the additional safety of children while they with the puppy.
Carnegie Mellon University
January 20, 2010