Ever looked at an appliance or computer around the house and thought "I have no idea how this works" then silently wishing you had learned more about it growing up? Ayah Bdeir, CEO and founder of littleBits, not only recognizes this attitude but went one step further. She designed an entire ecosystem, in order to educate people into overcoming it in a fun and creative way. It worked too, LittleBits is revolutionary, winning dozens of educational toy awards and being distributed across 70 countries and used officially in over 2000 schools! Educators, students, children and parents are all loving littleBits as it sparks creativity in young minds. Today we are going to take a closer look at the littleBits base kit, and whip something simple and fun up to show you guys just how simple littleBits is.
The Base Kit from littleBits was part of their initial release of kits in 2011. It contains an illustrated quick start guide with a few great projects, 10 of the essential littleBits modules and a battery/battery adapter. It’s everything you need to open it up and get started inventing right away.
The 10 Modules that come in the littleBits base kit are:
- 1 Blue Power module. This module uses a center-positive standard barrel jack connector for power connectivity. You can use a 9v battery or even a wall-wart to power your inventions.
- 2 Orange wire Modules. Simply extenders for your modules allowing you to get littleBits into projects and models.
- 3 Pink Input Modules:
- 1 x Light sensor module, uses a photo resistor to control flow through the module. Additionally, there is a switch and a potentiometer on board to offer you a few options including The Dark/Light mode and sensitivity.
- 1 x Push Button module, simply a break in the circuit that is bridged when the button is press!
- 1 x Dimmer module, just a standard potentiometer you can turn a dial to increase/decrease electron flow.
- 4 Green Output Modules:
- 1 x Bright LED Module, a standard super bright LED.
- 1 x DC Motor Module, a little hobby DC motor with an onboard switch to toggle motor direction
- 1 x Buzzer Module, this might just be the most annoying sounding thing you will ever hand a child.
- 1 x Bar Graph Module, a series of LEDs that lights up according to the modules before it.
Let's make with littleBits!
Using our ingenuity and littleBits modules we are going to make a Windmill!
I'm going to grab out the parts I think I will need:
DC Motor Module
A wiring module
Spare Cardboard around the warehouse
This is how we are going to connect up our littleBits, but we are probably going to add an orange wire module so the motor can sit at the top of the windmill.
It's so simple, right? Imagine all the things you could throw together with a cardboard box, some tape, and a littleBits base kit. Apparently, upon finishing the very first prototype for littleBits, Ayah showed her showed her fiance at the time. His reaction was, "You have to quit everything else you are doing and work on making this real". We are so glad she did! These building blocks for electronics have really stepped up educational technology, and made it accessible to the everyday consumer!