I’m so jazzed about Cubelets — they’re a playful way to introduce robotics for kids as well as develop computational thinking (programming skills). Each little robotic block or cube is a mini-program. When magnetically snapped together with another cube or cubes, it creates a robot that can perform more complex functions. Think simple machine into complex machine but in this case, a robotic machine! Talk about a fun way to develop STEM skills! (Or STEAM skills if you’re so inclined.)
See more SCIENCE / MATH / TECH / ENGINEERING toys like this on my STEAM / STEM Gift Guide for Kids.
Robotics for Kids
Let me explain what Cubelets taught my kids and me. We learned that robots, by definition, are special mechanical devices that can sense, think, and then act.
We also learned that Cubelets come in three types of cubes: sensing, thinking, and acting. In other words, they’re the exact building blocks of robotics.
Each cube does something simple.
- Black cubes sense light and heat.
- Colored cubes perform thinking functions.
- Clear cubes are the actions.
- The dark blue cube is the battery power.
- The light blue cube is a Bluetooth for the free app.
Put the cubes together in different ways to perform robotic functions. And, depending on what cubes you use (your program,) they are now a complex program like this one:
black light-sensing cube + clear drive cube with wheels + a battery cube = a simple robotic car
I’m a beginner when it comes to computational thinking (having forgotten my BASIC programming language skills about 30 years ago.) Probably your children are as well. This is perfect for us, or anyone ages four to 99. We need these building blocks (no pun intended) to train our brains in how computers think.
Every time we put the Cubelets together, we can create a new, unique program. Luckily, to get you started, Cubelets comes with cards that explain each block as well as a book with ideas and challenges.
I love how Cubelets develop design thinking, complexity, systems thinking, perseverance, project-based learning, and when possible, collaboration.
LEGO fans will love the Cubelets Brick Adapters that let you pair with Lego® and other brick-based constructions.
Oh, and Cubelets just introduced a new operating system, 4.0. Big cheers, right? (I have no idea why this is cool. Just that it is.)
We have the Cubelets TWELVE set with 12 robot blocks and two Brick Adapters. It retails for $329.95 on the ModRobotics website. (Gasp!) A set of TWENTY on Amazon is $499.95. More affordable is the mini-kit of SIX for $159.95. Invididual cubes are available for purchase if you’re wanting to add on to an existing kit.
Is it worth it? It’s pretty darn awesome that’s for sure but yikes, that’s pricey. What do you think?
Watch this video to see robots that you can make with your Cubelets:
Disclosure: Cubelet provided me with a complimentary sample. This Cubelets review reflects only my opinions.