Compare and Contrast- Dancing Frog vs. iDog

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General Description

The components of the iDog and the dancing frog that were looked at by this group are compared and contrasted on this page. The similarities and differences in their components and their functions are listed below. The two following photos show the two objects that are being compared. More information regarding the specific decomposition of each of these objects can be located on the previous browser page.

IDog1.jpg Frog2.jpg

Components and Functions

Ineractions with Humans

The dancing frog has only one button that allows it to start its programmed cycle. The iDog has a touch sensitive button that turns it on and off, makes him bark, or play a rock song depending on how many times the button is pressed. The iDog also has a LED display that uses different color and light patterns to display any of four emotions: happy, sad, lonely, and excited.

The iDog has the ability to interact with humans in more than one way and has more of a complex relationship with a human. The dancing frog's only ability to interact is to follow the command to run through its cycle, which involved motion and music.

Interactions with the World - Sensing

When the iDog hears any music being played, it begins to dance to the music and change its emotion. The dancing frog has no real ability to sense the world around it.

The difference here shows that the ability of an object to sense its environment is not required for a mechatronic toy, but plays a role in how complex the system is.


The iDog's motion is limited to rotating his head back and forth. The frog is able to open and close its mouth, rock its head from side to side, and move one arm up and down.

The dancing frog is a much more complex system mechanically beacuse of the different types of motion that needed to be coordinated, whereas the iDog does not rely on its movement for its main function.

Power Supply

The iDog uses 3 AAA batteries to power the LED system, one motor, and the microphone. The dancing frog uses 3 AA batteries that power two motors and the speaker used to play a song.

The power input is relatively similar, but the dancing frog uses the batteries to power mostly mechanical systems while the iDog uses it to power mostly electronic systems.

Power Conversion

The iDog has no real power conversion system in it. The dancing frog utilizes a belt and pulley system on one motor and has gear trains attached to both motors. These are designed to slow the motor down and to provide more torque from the small motor.

This shows that power conversion is not a prerequisite for a mechatronic system. It depends on the main function of the system.

Motion Conversion

The iDog converts the rotation of the motor to translation via a slider mechanism. This allows the head to rotate side to side. The dancing frog also converts rotation to translation. The frog does+ this by having a slider attached to a rotating wheel. The slider pushes a link up and down which causes the head to rock from side to side and one arm to move up and down.

Both systems use similar motion conversion that enabled it to complete or accomplish interactions with either humans or the world.


The iDog is capable of showing four emotions based on how much attention it is receiving. This involves both touching the nose (human interaction) or hearing the music that is played(sensing its environment). Through this it is able to give feedback to the user. It is not a "one-way" mechatronic system. The dancing frog has no real intelligence to speak of and can only go through a pre-programmed set of instructions.

This shows that intelligence is one of the main indicators of where the object lies on the mechatronic spectrum. The iDog is a more advanced system than the dancing frog due to its higher level of intelligence.