Community News: Blow out the Candles, Bitsters!

Get inspired by Birthday Inventions.

September 26, 2016

It’s Monday! That means it’s time for your weekly collection of awesome inventions created by Bitsters like you.  Read on to learn about challenges and events, and get to know littleBits inventors from all around the world.

 

Image of the Week

Eduardo and his Pikachu

Eduardo from Brazil proudly posing with his animatronic Pikachu.  Watch this Pokemon move!

 

Community Hall of Fame

Alex Mamonov used the Gizmos & Gadgets Kit to build a self-playing guitar he calls “The Guitar of the Future.”  A mechanical arm and servo strum the guitar by remote control as he plays chords with his left hand.  Let’s watch.


Happy Birthday, littleBits!

To enter this month’s challenge, the Birthday Challenge, create and upload an invention by Oct 4, 2016 that will help celebrate littleBits turning 5. The Most Inventive Birthday Creation will get a kit or Bits worth up to $200. The Bitsiest Cake will also win a kit or Bits worth up to $200.  Need inspiration? Check out these awesome birthday inventions:

In Yuziana’s “Happy Birthday, littleBits,” a dragon spits fire, and lights flickering LED candles!  There are aluminum foil strips on the dragon’s back.  When Yuziana pets his back, she completes a Makey Makey Bit circuit that turns on a fan, mp3 player and the flickering LED circuit.
Yuziana birthday dragon

Yuziana’s dad, Carl, explains how they made the candles flicker: “The littleBits circuit starts with two oscillators, which are slightly out of tune. Mixing these two results in an interfering sound, that is made digital using a threshold. To this output we connect a long LED, an inverter, another long LED, a latch and a third long LED.”

This Birthday Cake was made by 6th graders for their favorite teacher.  Watch as they blow out LED candles.

 

Magic Relite Candle by Matthias M. Wolf is an “improved electronic alternative to the classic birthday candle. Happy birthday! Make a wish! And yes, the flame is a gummi bear.”  Here’s how it works: The sound trigger detects when you blow on the candle, and the timeout turns off the LED for a set period of time.  Next the pulse and random Bits make the RGB LED flicker like a real flame!

Birthday Box 2000 by Hunter9879 is a cardboard box that says happy birthday in neon lights on the front, and plays music.


Find or Host an Invention Party!

From September 30 – October 2, locations all over the world will be hosting littleBits Birthday Invention Parties.  Our Chapter leaders are armed with confetti and purple swag to throw the best bash ever.  See if there’s a party near you here. If you can’t find one, consider hosting one of your own using this handy toolkit.  Finally, here’s a guide you can follow to host a family invention night at home.

Cutting the Cake

 

Meet the Inventor: Yuziana and Carl Mangold

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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“Young Yuziana and Carl are an invention power house and perfect example of the creativity that comes out of families making together.”  Nick Weinberg, program manager at littleBits, caught up with the father – daughter duo to get to know them better.

When starting a littleBits invention, what does your design and video process look like?
“Because I’m so young, most of the time my dad comes up with a project idea based on my interests. He will then cut the foam board with his ultra sharp hobby knife, I cut some paper with my scissors and we glue everything together. Then I’ll paint and decorate everything and together we’ll add the littleBits to bring it to life.

My dad takes videos of me all the time, edits them in Final Cut Pro and uploads them to my YouTube channel. Playing with littleBits is a weekly returning part of my life, so it automatically appears in videos on my channel. To inspire and help others he also uploads the videos, photos and instructions to the littleBits site. And because of that, we’ve won a Gizmos and Gadgets Kit, with our robo croc!”

Find more Meet the Inventors Articles.

 

That’s all for today, Bitsters!  Have a super week, and keep inventing!  🙂

 

Jude Brisson

online community manager