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.

News

UPS partners with TuSimple to test self-driving semi-trucks

UPS has been carrying truckloads of goods in self-driving semi-trucks since May. The vehicles are being tested in Arizona routes between Phoenix and Tucson for better service and efficiency for UPS delivery.
Mobile

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Movies & TV

The future of Star Wars: All the known movies and TV series coming your way

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Movies & TV

Obi-Wan Kenobi series is the latest Star Wars project headed to Disney+

Disney's direct-to-consumer streaming video service Disney+ will launch with an impressive catalog of classic content, new projects, and original shows and movies. Here is everything confirmed and rumored to be coming to the platform.
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 to a different occasion.
Emerging Tech

Astro the dog-inspired quadruped robot can sit, lie down, and… learn?

Move over Spot! Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have built a new dog robot called Astro. Thanks to deep learning technology, it promises to be able to learn just like a real dog.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

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!
Health & Fitness

We spit in a ton of test tubes to find the best and most unique DNA tests

DNA tests aren’t just limited to ancestry. You can test for your risks for certain diseases, the best workouts and diets for your health and fitness, and more.
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.