Meet Borko Jovanović
Borko Javonic is an entrepreneur supporting innovation through Polyhedra – providing infrastructure, education and funding to the next generation of designers and inventors. He’s also a tinkerer and enjoys building projects with his two sons. Borko recently received a littleBits Gizmos and Gadgets kit, invented the Golf-O-Mat, 18 hole golf course with movable traps and shared his inventing experience with us.
What new side of you [or your kids] did littleBits unlock?
For years I have been “threatening” my wife and kids that I will rent a garage, get some basic tools in there and start making things. And than one day littleBits arrived and the apartment became the garage. It unlocked the maker within me in just seconds. Soon, I found another four or five other makers in my community, who shared my passion. Together, we started a littleBits Global Chapter, which is very active and alive, growing each month.
What was your littleBits “a-ha!” moment? The moment you, or your kids, were bitten by the littleBits bug?
With two young boys, there are not many places where we get to spend extended amount, if any time at. Lunches are usually 30-minutes, even gaming places and playgrounds get old after an hour or so. And then, while visiting Oslo, we took them to Teknisk Museum (Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology) and six hours later, I had to drag my kids out in tears. They were glued to the littleBits One of Everything Collection for hours, and seeing a then six year old and a four year old putting together logic gates made me realize the value of the littleBits revolution.
What everyday objects have you [or your kids] reinvent?
The first projects my kids made were paper knights with swinging paper swords glued to the servo motor controlled by a dimmer. All by themselves, unchaperoned. Then they upgraded the project with 3D printed swords. Then the knights got upgraded to with Legos. Then we had to add a pressure sensor, buzzer, remote controlled carriage.
What imaginary worlds did your inventions open up?
littleBits has hidden prototyping power. With so many components available, innovation becomes natural. For example, while playing with the RGB led settings and thinking how to remotely control the color, I saw my younger son wrap the light wire around my spare glasses and it triggered our latest project – we are now finalizing a prototype for the frames which can change color based on input from a bluetooth device. Perhaps a candidate for a Project Side Project :).
What was your favorite collaborative moment with your kids?
As we were creating the bitSoccer project, all of our kids were constantly pushing us to improve things. That is how the idea of the fan wave came about. At one point the kids realized that the goalkeeper couldn’t move all the way from one goal post to another and there was a “sweet” spot where you could always score. So, they tore the field apart and started brainstorming ideas how to leverage movement with the limited angle of the servo motor. They weren’t able to come up with a solution, however seeing their little brains fry for half an hour was quite amazing.