littleBits Best of 2013

Our favorite projects from last year

January 2, 2014

2013 has come and gone, but the memories still live on. See great moments in littleBits project history below by checking out these creations made by littleBits and the littleBits community.

MoMA Design Store Projects

In April, we partnered with our friends over at Labour to produce larger-than-life window displays at the NYC MoMA design stores. Our design team also made mini-replicas of these installations and put the files online so people could make their own scaled-down versions. The Swimming Shark was certainly a hit. This fearless fish was brought to life with a mechanical cam and the dc motor. Check out the swimming shark in its many forms.

littleBits make BIG things happen from littleBits on Vimeo.

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littleBits mini replica of MoMA shark

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“I created this modified Swimming Shark to introduce students to the LittleBits electronics they will be using in their upcoming kinetic sculpture assignment. When using LittleBits in conjunction with the 3D printer the possibilities are really exciting. All parts except the paper shark were fabricated using the 3D printer and I incorporated my DC motor mount into the design. ” – rbrodie

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Bri&Davy created this version of the swimming shark. Watch the video for a detailed explanation of how it works.

 

littleBits + 3d Printing

The Thingiverse Dragon Hack project used existing files from Thingiverse that we remixed to work with the littleBits platform. We made our own littleBits powered Automaton dragon that is propelled by a dc motor when its sound trigger is activated.

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We have a few accessories slated to launch in the near future, but a few of our community members have already begun to make their own. Check out these awesome 3d printed accessories by rbrodie.

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Exploration Kits

In September, we launched the Base, Premium, and Deluxe Kits. We’ve had some great project submissions from our community members ever since. The GoPro Revolver is a smooth rotating platform for a video recording system made using the dimmer and the dc motor. The Pizza Box Phonograph is an ingenious re-creation of an old classic made with a dc motor, a pizza box, a sewing needle, and a paper cone.

 littleBits Pizza Box Phonograph

 

littleBits Global Makeathon

Our Global Makeathon brought together makers from around the world for an epic physical and virtual day-long littleBits workshop. Makeathon participants were then encouraged to submit their creations to our Bring your City to Life contest. We received some amazing project submissions including this interesting and conceptual take on Shanghai’s favorite sandwich by taweili and this mini version of Hollywood icons by Rolling Robots.

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Logic Module Magic

We put our logic modules to use this past Halloween with the creation of Great Uncle Edward. His portrait may look just like a normal photograph, but take a step closer and you will notice something very strange. The eyes in this portrait move, and not only that, they follow you wherever you go! We used an old frame, a photograph,motion triggers, a servo, and a series of logic Bits modules to achieve this unnerving interaction. Learn more here.

 

Life Hack: Automated Water Cooler

Our new office water cooler began testing our patience with its slow filtration system, so we decided to hack it. With some logic, a timeout, and a servo, Mr. Thirsty fills your cup up with the perfect amount of water every time.

 

Robots that React

Check out these roaming bots as they react to their environments in a variety of ways. The Robot Butler is a smart little creature that roams the table and has plastic arms that activate three roller switches as they bump into cups and bowls, causing the robot to turn and try elsewhere. The Creepy Crawly Cockroach uses a combination of bend sensors and light triggers to navigate tight spaces and search for dark spaces to hide. This line following robot uses a combination of LEDs and light sensors in order to stay on path of black tape.

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littleBits Go LARGE

Students at Reading College conducted a very thoughtful and interesting study involving littleBits and people with learning disabilities, particularly those with limited manual dexterity. They designed a base that helps to connect littleBits components by increasing the size of the platform to make the objects easier to handle. More information about their design process can be found here.

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Synth Kit In The House!

In November, we partnered with KORG to release the Synth kit, a set of modular components with which you can make sound machines. The Synth Kit demystifies a traditional analog synthesizer, making it super easy for novices and experts alike to create music. The Synth Spin Table project lets you play your Synth Kit like a DJ! With two turntables attached to the two oscillators, you can make a variety of sounds with the spin of a disk.

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We are were also super impressed by this rendition of Joy to the World submitted by one of our community members!

 

Education Nation

We have been working with some wonderful educators over the past year who have begun to integrate littleBits into their curriculum. Michael Wilkinson teaches math and science at a private independent school in the Bronx and has been using littleBits to explore concepts of microgravity and light in corellation to plant growth. Check out his littleBits projects & lessons.

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