What happens when you add technology to building blocks? You get Cubelets, reconfigurable robot blocks that kids can connect to make constructions that sense, think, and act. The Discovery Set, which is for ages 4 and up, gives kids the ability to create and invent, while also learning some of the basics of robotics. The set includes six Cubelets that easily attach via magnets. When kids connect three or more Cubelets, they've made a robot construction. The included guide walks kids through how to make a robot construction, experiment with different configurations, use the free Cubelets app to control the robot via Bluetooth, and create specific types of robots. Two brick adapter pieces allow kids to add bricks from popular brick-building systems to their robots.
One of the robots we made connected the Brightness and Flashlight Cubelets to the Battery Cubelet. (You'll always need the Battery Cubelet to power your robots.) When connected and turned on, the flashlight lit up. The closer our hand got to the sensor on the Brightness Cubelet, the dimmer the light. Conversely, when we replaced the Brightness Cubelet with the Distance Cubelet, moving our hand closer to the sensor made the flashlight shine brighter.
From within the app, kids can experiment even further with the Cubelets by controlling individual blocks or changing the way a Cubelet behaves. For instance, you can make the solid light of the Flashlight Cubelet blink. And then you can play around with the sensor on a different Cubelet to make the flashlight blink faster or slower.
It was really fun experimenting with the different configurations of blocks and seeing what the robots could do. This is definitely a good starter kit that not only introduces kids to the world of Cubelets but also helps young kids become familiar with robotic basics in a fun and hands-on way. Kids will experiment with cause and effect, develop gross motor skills, practice sorting and sequencing, and even build speaking and questioning skills all through the play.
There is some reading involved, so for younger kids, this might be an activity better suited to parent-child play.
The Discovery Set is for the youngest engineers, ages 4 and up.
The set includes a Battery Cubelet, a Brightness Cubelet, a Drive Cubelet, a Distance Cubelet, a Flashlight Cubelet, a Bluetooth hat, a brick adapter, a micro USB cable, and a guide. You can recharge the battery with the USB cable.
Additional Cubelets are sold separately.
There is a parents play guide on the Modular Robotics website to help parents understand the potential of playing with robot blocks.
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