A popular building toy is getting a lot smarter.
Lego has always been a great toy, teaching kids to build and use their imaginations. I used it to decorate my 11th birthday cake, depicting a shark attack complete with floating pirate limbs and fake blood in a blue frosting ocean. What was once a colorful, interlocking block toy can now be an automation lesson as well.
Brixo, based in Israel, created a set of blocks—compatible with existing Lego—that come outfitted with connectivity, sensors, motors and lights. Kids (and adults) can use the Brixo blocks to build moving Lego sculptures. The low voltage toys are safe for kids, and allow for remote or smartphone control.
Quantum Physicist Boaz Almog saw the need when his son put together an electric science kit, but couldn’t see the circuit “through the forest of tangled wires.” When his son went to go play with Lego, Almog came up with the idea for Brixo, which he says is “all about building circuits, and seeing and understanding what you built."
The public clearly saw the need as well, as his Kickstarter campaign raised $716,791, over 14 times the initial goal of $50,000.
"Brixo will allow makers to build internet-of-things devices with a minimal learning curve and with maximal flexibility mechanically and electronically," Almog said. Eventually, voice and sound recognition may be added to the list of offerings.