I can think of two reasons why Jasen Wang’s Makeblock project exists. Either his inner child died and he has forsaken Lego forever, or he just wanted to create a user-friendly robotics set that you could put together and take apart without any risk of the pieces breaking and bending.
Fortunately, the latter of the two explanations appears to be the most likely. As Wired discusses, the inspiration for Makeblock’s creation came when Wang grew tired of flimsier robotics sets that fell apart or otherwise refused to cooperate. Makeblock components are not only much sturdier and more flexible, but you can use them in conjunction with Lego blocks or Arduino boards. And of course everything is open source.
Makeblock might be sturdy, but is it future-proof? The Android and iOS app that you can use to control your creations might go a long way in answering that question.
A wide variety of Makeblock products are currently available for purchase, but Wang and his team want to expand their product line significantly. The first step in this expansion is a Kickstarter project that has already picked up over $12,000 of its $30,000 goal with 38 days left to complete funding. If you would like to try your hand at robot construction, pledging might be the quickest and most affordable way to jump in.
Makeblock is now a full time job for Wang, and we can only hope that his success will spur others to design their own hardware creations for a brighter, shinier, and significantly more metallic future.