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LittleBits' Droid Inventor kit is the first STEM toy that works

LittleBits' Droid Inventor kit is the first STEM toy that works
From TechCrunch - January 26, 2018

Ive been watching STEAM and/or STEAM toys with great interest and great skepticism. While many parents and teachers report great success with programming toys like Cleverbot and whatever this thing is, Ive found that kids (and parents) I know find many STEM toys to be sterile, boring, and just no fun.

The same held true for the notoriously fiddly LittleBits kits. These kits had little snap-together electronic parts that allowed you to create circuits and connect chips in order to build various projects. You could make synthesizers, Arduino gadgets, and robots and the like but, ultimately, nothing sparked with anyone I knew. Now, Im pleased to report, LittleBits has finally pulled off STEM magic with the Droid Inventor kit and other manufacturers would do well to emulate them.

The kit is deceptively simple. It includes just a few components including a driving and steering motor as well as a proximity sensor and a wireless unit that connects to your phone. The kit comes with a plastic R2D2 body including removable legs and head along with stickers that let you choose between red or blue R2 units and even white stickers that let your kids color their own robot.

Assembling the project is easy and the included mounting box makes it easy to lay out your circuit and connect to to power without worrying about pinched wires or short-circuits. Once your droid is assembled you follow a set of instructions on the mobile app to teach your robot to follow you, simulate force pushes, and other cute games.

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