If you like using your hands and brain to build something neat and learn new skills, you’ll find no shortage of kits, toys, and inspiration out there. With the release of Flybrix, we’re proud to join a vibrant ecosystem of products that appeal to curious minds. Our love for LEGO Technic, chemistry sets, and the electronics aisles at RadioShack were part of what drove us to create Flybrix, so it should come as no surprise that we’re always curious about new science and engineering products.
Here’s five fun kits and projects that caught our eye recently, in no particular order:
From a simple catapult, to many-legged walking machines; Vex Robotics makes smart, cleverly designed robotics kits. Vex kits feature plastic pieces that snap together quickly, without tools. We particularly like Vex because it helps builders move beyond kits to design and assemble their own robots. Kids and adults build amazing things with Vex; creating their own designs, adding features like bump and IR sensors, and participating in robotics competitions.
Top crowdfunding campaigns for engineering kits and toys remind us of the creativity of our broader community. While we haven’t played with this flyer, we love that someone thought to create it. Builders attach a camera to a super heavy duty paper, pair the camera to their phone, and then use the viewer to see from the flyer’s perspective. Once these ship, FlyBrix’ neighbors will have to retrieve one from their roof for sure!
This modular, magnetic circuitry set reminds us of some of the toys we loved as kids. LightUp doesn’t require any tools to assemble, but lets kids play with real electronics fundamentals. LightUp has a few kits available, and they can be a kid’s first introduction to circuits and batteries with simple projects like a buzzer; or they can scale up as kids learn about microcontrollers and programming to build more elaborate projects like a music box or a reaction time sensor.
Moss is a system of modular blocks designed to help you build working robots. We got a chance to play with Moss Magnetic Robots recently, and loved that they offer a winning combination of straightforward assembly for beginners of (most) all ages, and innumerable options for advanced assembly. Moss pieces are interchangeable, but their manufacturer suggests recipes to help you get started. From vehicles to electronic appliances, Moss encourages you to use their blocks to make anything you can imagine.
For self-directed adults and kids, whose interest in electronics leads more towards programming than building, we like this comprehensive beginners’ Arduino kit. It contains everything you need to get started programming Arduino controllers. There’s a few printed lessons and enough supplies to get you started, but this kit leaves all your options open for sandbox style learning. With what’s here, you can tackle all kinds of Arduino projects. Arduino technology is used in tons of well known products, like LED displays and of course, Flybrix!
Kits include everything you need to make your LEGO® flyers take to the air. Just snap your frame together, charge up, and take to the skies! Then take it apart and try your hand at different designs. And, the open source Arduino code gives you the option to customize and tune how your flyer works in different configurations.