Little Bits Droid Inventor Review by Michelle Biwer
My love of Star Wars aside, I like the simplicity of use and customization options of the Little Bits Droid Inventor Kit. The tweens at my library really enjoyed the building process of making their own Star Wars droid and were able to complete most tasks without any help. Because a lot of its functions are basic and the droid moves at a slow speed I would recommend this for middle schoolers. For high schoolers, a Sphero Star Wars droid moves at a much faster speed and allows for much more complex coding.
What to know before purchasing:
- App based, so you must have a tablet or phone available to control each droid.
- Recommended for Grades 3-8.
- Each kit is about $100 and contains the parts for one R2D2.
What sets this product apart from other robotics equipment you have in your STEM arsenal?
- Step by step video instructions. The steps to build the robot are very clear and detailed. I have run a robot building program with a group of senior citizens with little technology experience, and they were able to completely follow the build instructions of this kit without my help.
- Little Bits components fit together like Legos, making the process familiar to most children and teens.
- Many build options. You can build a robot and then control it by driving it around. But you can also reassemble it and follow the instructions to make it move its arms, or draw a secret message. It has about 20 gestures or “missions” preprogrammed that you can complete by assembling different components in different ways. In a one hour program I found that tweens can complete usually 3 or 4 of those missions, making this kit suitable for repeat programming.
- Group friendly. I have found that 2-3 tweens can work together quite well to build the robot.
- Some coding functionality. The assembled droid can be controlled by “driving” it around or by coding with very basic block-based programming suitable for tweens new to coding.
- Compatible with other Little Bits Kits. If your tweens love experimenting, they can try to create new functionality for their droid with other kits you might have at hand. Keep in mind there aren’t instructions in the app for combining other kits.
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About Robin Willis
After working in middle school libraries for over 20 years, Robin Willis now works in a public library system in Maryland.
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