New from design company Modular Robotics are Cubelets – a toy that combines the function of robots and the simple fun of building blocks.
While more technical options like Lego Mindstorms and Technix are great for older kids, younger fans of the realm of robots are often left out in the cold as their parents are concerned about moving parts and swallowed objects and the possible danger these more complex kits represent.
Now, Modular Robotics is debuting a newline of great toys called Cubelets that not only let kids experience the fun of building robots but do so in such a way that parents never have to worry.
A standard Cubelets set comes with 20 blocks, each of which is a robot in its own right. They fall into three categories, each of which allows the eventual created robot to behave in a certain way.
Blocks in the irst category are known as “action blocks” and will allow the robot to drive, rotate, “speak”, shine a light or display a bar graph of information. Next are “sense blocks” that can detect information in the environment such as temperature, brightness or distance. Last are the “think/utility blocks” that allow the whole unit to function properly. These include battery blocks (each robot creation needs at least one), inverse blocks, min/max blocks and passive blocks.
So how does all this robotic madness work, exactly?
It starts when kids connect the blocks to each other – by taking a light block, drive block and battery block and connecting them a child could easily make a robot that will zip around the room, getting faster as light gets brighter. By slipping an inverter block between the light and drive blocks, the robot will drive slower the brighter the light, giving kids the ability to not only create viable robotic creations but ones that can do a myriad of interesting things.
Kids can choose to carefully piece their creation together or quickly stack a large number of blocks and see what happens – the kit is meant for experimentation and discovery.
The 20 block kits are designed for kids 8 and older and the 100 that were produced – at $300 a pop – have already sold out.
With this kind of response, it’s likely the company will be producing more in the near future so get ready – Cubelets are coming, bringing a bright robotic future with them.
Source: Modular Robotics