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.

Movies & TV

Hulu chief says Disney is about to give it a serious original content boost

Hulu announced today that more original programming is slated to appear on the streaming service. This comes on the heels of Disney acquiring Hulu from Comcast last month. 
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best Apple iPad deals for June 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for June 2019.
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 TV series currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Small Business

Disney Plus could have 130 million subscribers by 2024, says analyst

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Emerging Tech

The grainy texture of Saturn’s rings reveals clues to their origins

New analysis of data from Cassini shows that Saturn's rings are not smooth, but rather are grainy in texture. Scientists believe that tiny moons within the rings cause materials to cluster and form clumps and straw-like patterns.
Emerging Tech

The Very Large Telescope gets upgrade to aid its hunt for habitable exoplanets

The Very Large Telescope is growing even bigger. The latest addition to the telescope's suite of instruments is a tool called NEAR (Near Earths in the AlphaCen Region) which will hunt for exoplanets in the nearby Alpha Centauri star…
Emerging Tech

Your smartphone could be the key to predicting natural disasters

A challenge for atmospheric scientists is gathering enough data to understand the complex, planet-wide weather system. Now a scientist has come up with a clever idea to gather more data using smartphones and Internet of Things devices.
Emerging Tech

Tormented robot pulls a gun on its creators in latest Boston Dynamics spoof

Boston Dynamics' remarkable robots often receive a good few shoves in its videos, and the eager mistreatment recently inspired a team of L.A.-based video artists to give its rather amusing take on the matter.
Smart Home

A new survey by Adobe shows an evolving market for voice applications

A new consumer survey conducted by Adobe Analytics has uncovered a growing desire for more diversity in voice-controlled applications and devices as well as growing engagement with voice ads.
Emerging Tech

Live long and prosper? Experimental compound could slow down the aging process

Want to extend your natural lifespan beyond its current limits? A metabolite of biomolecules — found in pomegranates of all places — could help slow the aging process. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Airbus’ new single-aisle jet has longest range in its class and a fancy cabin

Airbus has unveiled the design of its new A321XLR jet, an aircraft that it says will be capable of trips of around 5,400 miles, making it the world's longest range single-aisle airliner when it takes to the skies in 2023.
Computing

Google Calendar is back online. Here’s the latest on the outage

Google Calendar is down, and that means that instead of a day packed with back-to-back meetings and timely reminders, users are instead being treated to an error message. Here's the latest on the worldwide outage.
Emerging Tech

A tiny magnet accomplishes enormous feat, sets a new world record

A magnet housed in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has set a record for the strongest continuous DC magnetic field ever recorded. Here's why that matters to our future.
News

Brush up on your makeup skills with YouTube’s new augmented reality feature

YouTube will soon let users try on makeup while watching popular makeup tutorials through augmented reality. Viewers will be able to actually try on the makeup products the online tutorials are showcasing and promoting.