“Now, you can build your own Mars Rover. The only hassle is that you cannot launch it for the Red Planet!
The space agency Nasa, in partnership with New York-based hardware startup LittleBits, has launched a space kit that enables you to build your own Mars Rover at a school or college lab or at home.
The kit comes with 12 “bit modules” that provide things like power, remote triggering, light sensing and motorization.”
“While the real Curiosity Mars rover inspects a slab of sandstone in search of a new place to drill, young engineers, astronauts and physicists now have a more accessible path to their future in science. The work being done on the surface of Mars can now be simulated by Earthbound enthusiasts, both young and old. Though the parts may be Lego-like, NASA and littleBits are counting on having developed a more thorough set of tools to bring the work of space exploration into any classroom or home. It will be interesting to see who the next Stephen Hawking might be and whether he/she cites NASA and littleBits’ Space Kits as part of their early inspiration.”
“Having studied electronics in college, I am very familiar with the amount of work that goes into planning a circuit and time that it takes to create a working project. However, within minutes of opening the box I was able to light LEDs, play MP3s, and play with waveforms.”
“Houston, littleBits Space Kit ($189) has liftoff! The Lego-like modular engineering toy has unveiled a brand-new set developed in collaboration with NASA. The lessons were written by NASA scientists, and the projects have tech-minded DIYers building mini versions of the Mars Rover and International Space Station.”
“File Under: Real Reasons to Have Kids. If you’re not already familiar, littleBits is a source for super simple snap-together electronics. They operate on a kid- or idiot-friendly design that uses magnets to connect function-specific Bits to each other in endless modular ways. In addition to basic components like motors, sensors, LEDs, switches, usb power sources and inverters, they also batch up kits for the lazy and excitable. The one that got my motor going this week: Space Kit! Among other projects, this kit can help you build a satellite dish, learn how to measure particles in the atmosphere, and make a totally cool ‘robotic space arm’ called THE GRAPPLER.”
“Now, NASA, the U.S. space agency, hopes it has found a workaround through new space kits and a collaboration with a New York-based startup called LittleBits.
NASA, through its Aura mission to study the Earth’s ozone layer and climate, is working with LittleBits to develop activities around a new $189 space kit, announced on Thursday.
Using electronic modules such as motors and dimmers that snap together, the creations will perform functions that normally might require hours of tedious tinkering or piles of electronics components.
The new kits are more demanding than playing with snappable blocks like Legos, but far easier than wiring, soldering or programming.”
“Turns out, the scientists at NASA were pretty excited about the experiments they were conducting on a daily basis, the kinds of unsexy things that put kids to sleep in science class. It was up to littleBits to take those concepts and distill them down into digestible, hardware-based projects that would actually capture their attention.”
“’We try to sense the pulse of society and figure out the fields that people are interested in, but also a bit scared of—engineering, music, space,’ she said. ‘Collaborators like Korg and NASA help us do that, help us show that these fields don’t have to be intimidating.’”
“littleBits is hard to wrap your head around if you don’t actually have the product in hand. But once you do, the mix-and-match modules can be inspiring, teaching you — if you’re a normal — more about electrical engineering than anything else in your purview.”
Learn about electrical engineering, structural design and space flight at a summer camp course developed by Marcus and his team at the Digital Media Academy. Read more about the program and how littleBits was a natural fit for introducing these complex topics to children.
This week we feature Jace Meyer, who develops educational and engaging summer camp experiences for Actua, a Canadian not-for-profit organization. Read more about how this STEM enthusiast is elevating her programs to the next level with the help of some littleBits modules.
The Associated Press took notice of the newest building toys, including littleBits, on display at Toy Fair 2014.
Savvy Auntie has a great round-up of tech toys that allow kids to “create, customize and imagine.” We’re proud littleBits fits that description!
Mashable took special note of the STEM toys at Toy Fair 2014 and included littleBits in their roundup of those that stood out.
The St. Cloud Times takes a look at DIY electronics. Check out why they think littleBits is a good tool and read about the other products they recommend.