My younger brother was a mad Star Wars fan back in the day (he still is!), and as such we watched it – on VHS – every other weekend. So I’m kind of a wannabe jedi by mistake, ">

LittleBits Droid Inventor Kit

Tiffany Paczek
14 December, 2017
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My younger brother was a mad Star Wars fan back in the day (he still is!), and as such we watched it – on VHS – every other weekend. So I’m kind of a wannabe jedi by mistake, or by default.

Needless to say, the new additions to the Lucas movie franchise are welcome and enjoyed not only by me and my brother, but by countless new and original fans across the world. As the films strengthen their effects and content, so too are the toys and merchandise growing in technicality and sophistication. Enter the latest offering from littleBits, the Droid Inventor Kit. LittleBits, an award-winning platform of electronic building blocks for creating inventions large and small, has built on every kid’s dream of having a stalwart and indomitable R2-D2 of their own.

The Droid Inventor Kit, recommended for ages eight and up, invites kids to create their droid and bring it to life using the littleBits electronic blocks and inventor app. This is more than a remote-controlled robot; the kit helps young padawans design, build, power and program their droid and partake in a variety of missions.

The Droid Inventor Kit retails at US$99 and comes complete with everything needed to assemble it (aside from a smart device, for obvious reasons). Inside the box you’ll find six electronic components – the control hub, DC motor, power, proximity sensor, servo and wire sensor, plus a battery – everything you need to power and control your droid. It also comes with a clear RD-D2-esque body and customisable stickers, so you can design your droid as traditionally or uniquely as you desire.

While the instructions in the box (or lack thereof – yes, I still look for hard-copy instructions!) aren’t clear where to start, once you download the Droid Inventor Training App, it’s fairly smooth sailing from there. The app is available on smart devices for iOS and Android, and is a free download – just tap and install and away you go. The app takes you through a step-by-step guide of how to set up your droid, beginning with the electronic circuit (magnet-connected modules) and going through to assembling the body and even sticker application. Each step is presented as a ‘mission’ to complete, and all in all it’s a straightforward assembly. Some of the plastic body parts can be a little stubborn, so small fingers may need a helping hand along the way.

Once assembled and customised, the app presents inventors with 16 missions (and more) to complete; for example, navigating obstacle courses, recording and carrying secret messages (“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” is a good place to start) and building new abilities such as Force Mode, where you can control the droid with your hand thanks to its proximity sensor.

The Droid Inventor Kit is a lot of fun and gives kids some valuable familiarity with how electronic circuits work. It encourages both creativity and an interest in electronics, coding and robotics. And with the theatrical release of The Last Jedi and Christmas just around the corner, this is a great gift for enthusiastic young padawans. It will keep them amused long after the rush of present-opening has passed and occupy them while the adults sleep off their Christmas Day food comas.

The littleBits Droid Inventor Kit can be fun for all, not just the kids. And that’s the beauty of Star Wars, isn’t it? Three generations of fans are united by three generations of films. And if someone has the coding chops to program my droid to bring me wine at the end of the day, then I’m all in.

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