The LittleBits Droid Inventor Kit helps kids build the droid of their dreams

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 Warsinspired 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.

littlebits droid inventor kit rsz 05 ap 170713 201

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.

Emerging Tech

‘Bionic mushroom’ can generate electricity without using fossil fuels

Researchers have come up with a way to produce electricity without fossil fuels using mushrooms covered with bacteria. The mushroom provides a safe environment for special cyanobacteria that generate electricity when light is shone on them.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Curiosity rover active and drilling again after computer issue

The Curiosity rover has succeeded in drilling a hole into the tough bedrock that previously defeated it, allowing imaging and collection of samples. The rover had been incapacitated for a few weeks due to problems with its computer.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover two rogue planets that do not orbit a star

Astronomers have identified two rogue planets in our galaxy which do not orbit around a star. Unlike the vast majority of discovered planets, these rogue planets drift through space alone with no sun to shine on them.
Emerging Tech

Pairs of supermassive black holes spotted in colliding galaxies

Astronomers have discovered several pairs of supermassive black holes in galaxies that are colliding with each other. These black holes will spiral closer and closer together and eventually merge into one supermassive black hole.
Emerging Tech

Quantum-based accelerometer can locate objects without GPS

Researchers have created a quantum "compass" that allows navigation without satellites. The instrument, technically called a standalone quantum accelerometer, is small enough to be transportable and has a very high level of accuracy.
Emerging Tech

Ancient continent discovered beneath the ice of Antarctica

Antarctica could be hiding the remains of a long-lost continent. Scientists created a 3D map of the crust beneath the Antarctic ice sheet which shows a similarity to the crust in Australia and India, suggesting they used to be joined.
Emerging Tech

Rocket Lab steps into spotlight with its first commercial rocket launch

Rocket Lab has deployed multiple small satellites into orbit in its first notable commercial launch. Its New Zealand-born boss said the success means "rapid and reliable access to space is now a reality for small satellites."
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Emerging Tech

Watch this lab-grown heart tissue beat just like the real thing

A team of researchers in Germany have used stem cells to create a lab-grown human heart tissue which actually beats, as well as responding to drugs in the same way as the real thing.