littleBits: Electronic Lego Blocks (Lights, Sound, Sensors, Motors)

Littlebits

Ayah Bdeir built littleBits to be modern day Lego blocks. They are simple and easy to use building blocks that are used to make electronic creations. The parts it takes to create an electronic circuit have been broken down into separate modules aka littleBits. Each module has a specific function and they snap together with magnets.

“You didn’t have to be an engineer to build beautiful houses, beautiful bridges, and beautiful buildings – Lego made it assessable.”

In the demonstration we see Ayah Bdeir snap a blue block to a green one to create light. A knob is snapped between the two and acts as a dimmer switch. The knob is replaced by a pulse module and it becomes a blinking light. The speed at which the light blinks can be adjusted with a turn of a screw.

Right now there are sensors, lights, sound, and motorized LittleBits. They are all color coded with green being output, blue is power, pink is input, orange is wire. The goal is to make everything assessable and be an easy building block, including solar panels in the future.

Littlebits

The individual parts seem quite basic, but seeing what they can be used to build shows how powerful these building blocks can be. Some creations include:

    • Interactive piggy bank
    • Confetti Canon
    • A robot lobster that is afraid of the dark

littleBits modules

littleBits are quite pricey as they are fairly new. A teaser kit costs $29 while a full kit costs $89. Individual modules cost $14-20 but there is a discount for schools and bulk orders. Available here.

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