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August 31, 2017

LittleBits Droid Inventor Kit lets you channel your inner Star Wars engineer

by John_A

Why it matters to you

LittleBits wants to teach kids circuitry through Star Wars. Enter the Droid Inventor Kit.

If you’ve ever dreamed of designing your own droid, the new LittleBits kit has your name on it.

On Thursday, LittleBits, the startup behind kid-focused educational toys like Code Kit, announced the Droid Inventor Kit, a collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm that lets kids design, create, and build Star Wars–inspired mechanical creations.

“Today we are continuing a global inventor movement that empowers young people to participate in a story that inspires them to be creators, not just consumers of technology,” LittleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir said in a statement.

The Droid Inventor Kit includes all the parts kids need to build a droid, and step-by-step instructions and how-to videos that break down the difficult steps. But there’s more to the Droid Inventor Kit than meets the eye. With the companion Droid Inventor app for smartphones, kids can send their bots through 17 special Star Wars missions and unlock new capabilities as they progress. The final reward? Learning how to create their own R2D2 units.

The Droid Inventor app’s also how kids control their droid creations — and how they earn rewards for it. They can drive their droids manually or let them drive themselves, and get digital stickers when they decorate their droids with crafts and household objects.

Bdeir, who founded LittleBits in 2011 with the mission of creating an educational platform that encouraged self-directed problem solving, thinks toys like the Droid Inventor Kit could help close the tech industry’s gender gap. Already, he said, LittleBits products have an adoption by girls at around 35 percent — an industry high.

“We’ve created a gender-inclusive product that celebrates kids’ own self-expression and ingenuity, while showcasing the same characteristics of imagination, grit and invention that are embodied in the Star Wars franchise,” Bdeir said.

The Droid Inventor Kit goes on sale August 31 for $100 at Walmart, Amazon, Apple Store, Disney Store, and littlebits.cc. It comes with 20 Droid parts, six modular “bits,” three sticker sheets, and a free download of the LittleBits Droid Inventor app.




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