Remember the time when you got your first electronic kit? Nowadays, we are so reliant on technology devices that we don’t care about how they work – unless, well, you’re in the industry. littleBits is aiming to respark that passion in electronic kits, and have done so in an easy way. Instead of you soldering wires together, just snap individual components together like Lego bricks to build robots, machines and even glowing candy canes.
What littleBits has done has made it accessible to everyone. Regardless if you are ‘into’ technology or not, young or old; you can just snap two components together to see if it works. If not, then just unsnap the two and try a different part. You don’t have to solder, nor have to learn how to program. It is the perfect tool to get someone into robotics or IT.
So, how is it done? Each component has tiny magnets and each thing you build must have some sort of power and some output. You can also add input, like a light sensor or button, and wires to make projects more complex.
And you can pretty much build anything. Take for example, this piggy bank which is made out of cardboard, soft drink bottles, construction paper, and syrofoam. This piggy bank project, in conjunction with littleBits, will light up and ring if you put money inside, and buzzes if you pet its ear. And there are plenty more projects you can try – both from littleBits and from the community.
Oh, and did we mention that it’s open source?
Now, the price – and it is a bit expensive. The “Extended Kit” with 14 components will cost you US$149 and the Starter Kit will cost US$89 with 10 bits. There is also a “Holiday Kit” that has 7 bits inside for US$49 and the teaser for US$29 for 3 bits. Standalone components are usually priced between US$10 and US$20.
I know it is a bit pricey, but it looks so cool. You can purchase this from Amazon or via their website.
(Editor Note: And hint hint to anyone that I know, if you get this for my birthday this year – you are my best friend forever in the entire world)