Cubelets Let You Build Robots Without Any Experience
You want robots? At GeekTech, we've got robots. You want your kids to want robots? Check out this here little modular robot kit. Straight from the brain of creator Eric Schweikardt, an outfit of “Cubelets” consists of 20 blocks, each with different functions like sound and light sensor blocks, wheel blocks, and dial blocks.
Attach the blocks together (don’t forget to attach the all-important battery block) and the modular robot can take on a surprisingly wide variety of forms! Schweikardt didn’t plan on marketing the cubes--in fact, the architecture grad student developed them as a school project and nothing more. But lab visitors kept asking to buy the kit, and thus the idea became a reality.
The Cubelet beta test run quickly sold out of 100 kits, but Modular Robotics (the company developing and distributing the blocks) plans to have more in stock soon.
Ars Technica points out that this learning toy is a great way to get kids interested in more complicated robotics, and the modular design illustrates how simple building blocks can become multifunctional entities--sort of like evolution.
But when your kid builds a fort and names it Skynet, consider signing them up for a soccer team or something.
Megan Geuss is a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area and masquerades as @MeganGeuss on Twitter.
Updated Feb. 25, 2011, 11:39AM to include the first paragraph that accidentally got omitted from the original version of the story.
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