Meet the Inventor

Max Noble

Max-Tia

Meet Max Noble – his students call him T. Max. He is a STEAM educator who runs an experimental creativity center for kids and ‘big kids’ in Taiwan. He is also the mastermind behind some of our favorite littleBits projects like Shakey, the 3d-printed robotic arm and the Crayon Lathe. Not only is Max a gifted maker, he is an inspiration to the maker community. As an educator, he works with students to turn their ideas into realities. See Max’s littleBits profile here.

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We asked Max to answer a few questions about his work and some of his favorite projects.
What is you background as a maker?
I just love making things that don’t exist yet. I’ve been doing it ever since I was a kid.
How did you hear about littleBits?
I watch TED religiously. And when I saw the talk I thought, “Here we go another electronics teaching kit that very few people will use”. I’ve used many modular electronic kits and they all fall along the wayside. But Ayah’s vision and what she has created so far is different. It’s not only inspiring but it has motivated me to help. There is something special going on here.
Describe littleBits in your own 3 words:
Future Innovator Blocks
What is the inspiration behind your littleBits projects?
Many different sources. Sometimes it’s the challenge of trying to recreate something using bits. The automatic paper towel dispenser is a good example. Bits may not be the optimal way to do it, but the limitations strengthen our ability to innovate. On the other extreme, it’s just easier and quicker to use bits to accomplish a task. I’ve incorporated bits into larger circuits during prototyping just because its fast (circuits in seconds!)
What advice can you give people who are creating with littleBits?
Remember…everything was considered impossible…until someone did it.

Can you give us a list of 4 of your favorite littleBits projects (2 of yours and 2 community) and tell us why you like them?

  • I like the Future Baby Stroller because the kids collaborated together on one project as opposed to always competing with each other in school. Very few people can collaborate effectively. It’s hard work because we have had competition bred into us all our lives. Its good to see kids getting the chance to practice doing it. Because, in the in the future the people who can collaborate will have the most rewarding jobs.

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  • The Sound Machine Ver3 is really interesting. I like seeing innovative approaches to tasks that we “think” we have already found the most efficient way to do it. It’s the “Rube Goldberg” effect that makes us expand our possibilities.

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  • I must mention Quinn’s Conveyor Belt too. Because I love seeing the projects of talented kids…it’s like magic for me.

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  • My project Shakey is a concept. Bits are great because it allows kids to create things with ordinary materials they can find around them. As 3D printing technology continues to develop more and more kids will have access to them. 3D design software is also opening up to everybody now with advances like Autodesk’s 123 system. Kids will soon be able to print their own toys. Shaky is an example of an Open Source Toy. Anyone in the world can download the model, mod it and print it. Then install the littleBits electronics. Now they have a toy comparable to something store bought. That’s got nothing but potential, it’s going to be bigger than LEGO.

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