Tag Archives: littleBits Project

This interactive piggy bank sure beats your old ceramic one

Saving a ‘littleBit’ of money has never been so much fun. 

For as long as you can probably remember, piggy banks have been comprised of either ceramic or porcelain, and generally served as a educational device to teach the rudiments of savings to children. Often times, the only means of opening aside from the slot for inserting coins was smashing the bank with a hammer to obtain the money within. In more years years, however, those fragile pieces were gradually replaced with electronic keepsakes that were able to record the inputted amount as well as dispense the money in much easier fashion. However, were they able to interact with you as well? Most likely not.


With the advent of littleBits, we’ve seen a number of interact piggy banks emerge, but none may as impressive as this recent one from Alex Pikkert. The Dutch Maker has designed a slick money-saving machine that not only swallows your coins but thanks you for the contribution with some appropriate tunes.


How it works is relatively simple. When you slide a coin down the ramp, the coin covers a light sensor, which triggers a set of reactions. The servo module (ATtiny25) opens a door below the ramp while a DC motor-driven camera mechanism pushes the coin into a recess below. Meanwhile, an animated graphic powered by a second servo sends its appreciation for saving, as its ATmega168 based MP3 player emits a musical money track over a pair of built-in synth speaker. A nice incentive indeed!


Interested in creating your own interactive bank? Head over to the project’s official littleBits page here.