Ninja Track: Design of Electronic Toy
Variable in Shape and Flexibility

February 11, 2013

Yuichiro Katsumoto built this shapechanging device for the TEI'13

Those are my notes:

features of a snake word

fixed and flexible mode

meet different usages with different flexibilities


input: making music (NTM)

switch between flute, trumpet, drums and bell
changing the form switches the modes

output/haptic: games (NTG)

switch between sword and whip mode
it changes flexibility by pressing a button to change it’s haptic behavior and possible movements

interactional considerations

inevitability of transformation
function follows form


which could be avoided using suitable material


the hinges of NTG sometimes cracked due to overuse


“The maximum length of early Ninja Track that can be folded by a small servomotor is about 30 cm” (page 6)


climbing gear

“[…] can be used as a mountain-climbing aid that changes from a belt into a cane or a splint” (page 7)

digital camera

moving the camera


ring-shaped Ninja Track as a caterpillar
stick-shaped legs: walk on irregular ground
stick-shaped arms: able to reach its hand into curved pipes


look into multiuser applications


Katsumoto, Y., Tokuhisa, S., Inakage, M. Ninja Track: Design of Electronic Toy Variable in Shape and Flexibility. In Proc. of TEI2013

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