Topobo Griffon
Topobo system
Topobo mixed parts
Topobo moose+hands

While at the MIT Media Lab Hayes invented Topobo, a construction toy with kinetic memory, the ability to record and playback physical motion. Since 2008 he has managed Topobo Co. as founder and principal.

With Topobo, you can snap together Passive (static) and Active (motorized) components to invent your own Topobo creature and animate it by pushing, pulling, and twisting its body. For example, you can make a dog and then teach it to dance and walk by twisting its body and legs. With the push of a button, the dog will dance and walk by itself. The same way children learn how buildings stand by stacking blocks, they can learn how animals walk by playing with Topobo.

Watch the Topobo video.

{website | videos | brochure | press | awards | papers | images}


Leapfrog Flash Magic


Product Redesign, Flash Magic
Leapfrog wanted a friendlier, more functional design for their flash card decoder.
 Asset Management
Design and implementation of a visual database to manage and distribute thousands of graphic assets.




Design and Fabrication, Corporate Gifts
Babcock and Brown sought distiguished gifts to commemorate financing the Verbund hydroelectric dam in Austria. We worked with the German studio Konstruction & Design to produce ten models of the dam’s turbines that feature propellers that spin with the touch of a finger.




ZOOB® is the first construction toy based on things that grow, from DNA to dinosaurs. Hayes worked with inventor Michael Grey to conceive and design the initial system. As employee #6 at Primordial, LLC, Hayes helped oversee all aspects of production design, including helping build and manage a design team to create product designs, packaging designs, and videos. The team won an ID Magazine award in the 45th Annual Design Review in Consumer Products and the toy has been popular for over twenty years.

Yale Sailing Merchandising

Yale Sailing Burgee

Yale Sailing Neck Tie

Founder, Yale Sailing Merchandising
Created a revenue-building division for the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club. Supervised production, marketing and sales of merchandise and established print and internet advertising.
 Product Design
Designed and produced merchandising paraphernalia for the Yale Sailing Team and Alumni Associates.