As a geek father, I have a reputation to uphold. And BearDuino has helped me maintain some shred of credibility with my kids... while creeping them out a bit in the process.The BearDuino is a hardware-hacked Teddy Ruxpin—the infamous animatronic talking story-time teddy bear unleashed in all its uncanniness on the world in the 1980s—that has been turned into a kit for use with an Arduino microcontroller, ready for would-be makers to use for good or evil.I've been itching to do something with the open-source Arduino for a while. I like to break things to figure out how they work and then reconstruct them, and I have a closet full of projects completed or in progress—and the associated debris to prove it. But for the most part, I've shied away from electronic hardware hacks.That's because despite the various science fair disasters I have "helped" my kids with (potato guns of various calibers that have burned my eyebrows in the name of middle school science fairs and various projects involving model rocket engines that should probably never see the light of day again), the electrical wiring projects I've done, and the computers I've repaired, electronics have remained outside of my comfort zone. Software is my game.