Send your littleBits circuits out into the world wearing SHOES! Now you can hold your circuits together and place them on any surface. Try magnet shoes on your refrigerator, hook & loop shoes on your dog’s collar, or adhesive shoes for more permanent installations. Check out the projects below for inspiration and be sure to visit our Shoes Tips & Tricks Page for more ideas.
Magnet Shoes in Action
Make a mailbox indicator light. This circuit sits directly on your metal mailbox (due to magnet shoes) and signifies when mail is placed inside. When letters are placed on top of the roller switch, the long LED on the exterior of the box shines bright. Out with the flag and in with the long LED! littleBits circuit: power + roller switch + wire + bright LED.
Hook & Loop Shoes in Action
Shoes on shoes — secure your circuit to a pair of sneakers to make these Stomping Shoes. The light wire lights up whenever you stomp down due to a sound trigger. All you need to do is stick an adhesive velcro adhesive strip to the sneaker, add hook & loop shoes to your circuit, lace up the light wire and start dancing.
Make a light-up dog collar! Design your circuit (we used a power module, a sound trigger, wires, and bargraphs) and lock it together with hook & loop shoes. Sew parts sections of a velcro strip to the collar, position the circuit, and watch the collar light up when your dog barks.
Adhesive Shoes in Action
Using adhesive shoes, secure your synth circuit to any material and make an instrument. We made a Keytar! The adhesive on the shoes sticks nicely to the acrylic surface of our keytar and holds the modules snugly in place.
Need some littleBits shoes in your life? Click here
My name is Ayah Bdeir, I’m the founder and CEO of littleBits, an open source library of electronics that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning and fun. Each “brick” has essentially one function — light, sound, sensor, motors, logic—and the bricks come together to form larger circuits that can do anything: from an obstacle-avoiding robot, to acrayon lathe, to an interactive toy.
We have been called “LEGO for the iPad generation” but I’d like to think littleBits is much more, it is a versatile, age-agnostic, gender neutral hardware platform — the most extensive and easy to use invention platform in the world.
Hit the streets with littleBits. Check out projects featuring our newest accessory, the mounting board. The mounting board allows you to keep your circuit intact and move it around with ease! Simply snap together your littleBits circuit and press the feet of your modules into the holes of the mounting board. Here are a few examples of what you can make!
Skateboard – Trick out your ride with littleBits light effects. This sound-activated skateboard lights up the streets with LEDs and a light wire as you ride along. Simply attach your modules to the bottom of the skateboard with mounting boards! Hit the road and never look back.
Boombox –This portable mini boombox is great for carrying around town. Just place a synth circuit (with 2 speakers) on two sandwiched mounting boards and add an exterior casing. Then spread some music love to the streets.
Mounting Board Puppy Robot –This little puppy bot has two mounting boards for a body. Just add littleBits and some sturdy legs to get him walking. Control his stride by adjusting the pulse and slide dimmers that connect to his servo-activated legs. Activate the sound and motion triggers and he will happily come over and greet you.
Want to add a set of mounting boards to your littleBits collection? Click here.
Try your luck with the littleBits Lucky Slot Machine and win a handful of candy hearts for your special someone. This slot machine operates just like the real thing. Pull the lever to start the graphics spinning on three DC motors. As they stop spinning in succession, win big when three hearts line up. When the hearts align, so do three bright LEDs and three corresponding light triggers. This signals the servo-activated trapdoor to release a candy jackpot. Find more Valentine’s Day projects made with littleBits here.
NEW PRODUCT – littleBits Base Kit – Make circuits in seconds with the littleBits Base Kit – no soldering, programming or wiring required. This collection includes 10 of littleBits’ color-coded Bits modules that snap together with magnets to create larger circuits. Control a car through light with the dc motor and light sensor, or scare your friends with a hidden button and a buzzer. With over 150,000 circuit combinations, curious minds are guaranteed to be engaged for hours.
The Base Kit includes everything you need to start designing and prototyping your own interactive creations, including a 9V battery an attractive, re-usable case and the motorMate which makes it super simple to attach wheels, cardboard and other materials to the DC motor. There’s also a handy Project Booklet, with step-by-step instructions for 8 great projects like the Art Bot and Three Wheeler.
This littleBits Base Kit comes with the following bits:
A zoetrope is a device that produces the illusion of motion by rapidly spinning a series of static images. It is a classic invention with ancient roots and has gone through many iterations over the years. We thought we would put our own “spin” on the zoetrope using littleBits and 3d printed parts.
For this project, our circuit was relatively simple. It has a DC motor and three bright LEDs controlled by a pulse. We also used a button in combination with a latch in order to be able to turn it off and on.
If you don’t have a 3d-printer, but would still like to be able to use these parts, you can 3d-print our files via Shapeways. Shapeways is a 3d-printing marketplace and community. If you don’t want to go the 3d-printing route, try creating figures using Lego or clay.
You can also find all the 3d files for this project on Thingiverse.
We are very excited about some of the new projects that we’ve been working on as well as the projects that the littleBits community members are coming up with. In this post, we will showcase robots that react to their environments in a variety of ways and rely on no programming whatsoever. The following robots are able to navigate a space and each depends on a different set of sensors to do so.
Through a combination of LEGO and littleBits, we were able to create a super smart cockroach that reacts to its environment just like a real one would. It is able to navigate tricky spaces and it scurries when it is exposed to light. When it finds a dark place to hide, it lays low and stays put.
How it works:
Navigation – The two bend sensors act as sensing antennas to help the cockroach navigate its surroundings. When the cockroach approaches a wall, the closest bend sensor will be activated. This will cause the opposite wheel to stop spinning due to the inverter before the dc motor, steering the cockroach away from the wall.
Shadow Seeking – The cockroach has two light triggers. The light trigger is set on light mode, so when each of the sensors sees light, the wheels spin. When a light trigger sees darkness, it’s corresponding wheel stops spinning, making it so the cockroach turns toward the darkness. If both light sensors are in the darkness, the cockroach stops moving completely.
This smart little creature roams the table on a central wheel that is connected to a dc motor. Little plastic arms activate three roller switches on the side as they bump into cups and bowls, causing the robot to turn and try elsewhere. This happens because there is an inverter in between the first dc motor and a second dc motor positioned on the edge. More info about the circuit here.
This project, submitted by one of our community members, is a vehicle that is able to follow the twists and turns of a line made from black tape. It has two bright LEDs, two light sensors, and two dc motors. It works by illuminating the floor’s surface with the bright LEDs. The light sensors then pick up the reflected light from the floor. Lighter-colored surfaces (the floor) reflect more light than dark surfaces (the black tape). When one of the light sensors senses the lower reflectivity of the black tape, its corresponding dc motor slows down, thus turning the vehicle and keeping it on track.
Unable to watch the ball drop in Times Square or on TV? Worry not, celebrate at home with this DIY version made with littleBits. You will be in for a surprise when the ball hits a roller switch and triggers the servo. Confetti may or may not be involved. Learn how to make it!
Countdown to midnight with this voice-changing microphone. You can modify your voice by experimenting with the delay and filter modules from the littleBits Synth Kit.
He sees you when you are sleeping… He knows when you’re awake. Santa watches your every move, just like Great Uncle Edward. This creepy portrait has motion triggers that sense when you are near and eyes controlled by a servo that watch you wherever you go. The double AND, double OR, inverter, and latch make up the logic behind Santa’s eye movement.
Add some fun to your ensemble and surprise your guests with this quirky, sound-reactive bow tie. It moves on a servo and is activated by the sound of your voice! Control how it moves with a pulse and a dimmer.
Time to get fancy! This animated hat will surely impress your guests. Bright LEDs project a spinning image of Santa and his reindeer flying through the night on the wall of the hat. Just touch the pressure sensor at the top of the hat to activate the dc motor.
NEW PRODUCT – littleBits KORG Synth Kit – littleBits and Korg have demystified a traditional analog synthesizer, making it super easy for novices and experts alike to create music. Now you can get modular without needing tons of banana cables!
Audio out connects to speakers, computers and headphones
Can be used to make your own instruments
Fits into the littleBits modular system for infinite combos of audio, visual and sensory experiences
From the Beatles to Björk, legendary artists have used analog synthesizers to produce complex sounds and innovative music. For the first time ever, the littleBits Synth Kit will enable anyone to build their own sound machines with little to no engineering or musical knowledge. Included is a handy 35+ page booklet, with step-by-step instructions for 10 great projects like the Keytar and Synth Spin Table. You’ll also receive a 9V battery + cable, everything you need to get started right out of the box.
littleBits KORG Synth Kit contents (12 bits):
power (battery and cable included
Snap and play, magnets prevent you from putting things the wrong way.
Play with light, sound, sensing and buttons without wiring, soldering or programming.
Make your own interactive objects, or combine with other construction toys.
Explain to your children the complex notions of electricity, electronics and science in a fun way!
Time for a sing-a-long! Forget the words to Frosty the Snowman? The Caroler’s Helperis scrolling sheet music that you can use to follow along. Two dc motors turn the scroll of music when you press the pressure sensor on the frame.
This holiday season, let the littleBits Robot Butler pass the food around the table for you. This smart little creature roams the table on a central wheel that is connected to a dc motor. Little plastic laser-cut arms activate three roller switches on the side as they bump into cups and bowls, causing the robot to turn and try elsewhere. This happens because there is an inverter in between the first dc motor and a second dc motor positioned on the edge. For more information about the circuit, click here. To make your own, follow these instructions.
Music, like making, is universal. No matter how far you travel, either in distance or time, you’ll find people creating, and whether it’s things or sound, the act of creating is a constant that connects us all. With that, we are extremely excited to announce the littleBits Synth Kit . Developed with Korg, the world-renowned electronic instrument company, we have successfully combined music and making to provide an experience that has never been seen before. Taking our goal of making an electronic design platform accessible for all, now anyone can dream up new sounds or songs and make them a reality as fast as their mind will allow. We think this could be the start of a new chapter in the history of music technology and we hope you’ll join us for the ride.
-Paul Rothman, Product Development
Developed in partnership with Korg, a pioneer of electronic musical equipment, the littleBits Synth Kit is an infinitely customizable and expandable analog modular instrument. The littleBits Synth Kit includes an assortment of 12 electronic Bits modules that instantly snap together with magnets to create circuits like those used in Korg’s famous analog synthesizers (like the MS-20). The Synth Kit also includes a project booklet outlining step-by-step instructions for 10 projects.
The Synth Kit was developed over the course of 9 months and is a collaboration between two seemingly different companies that share very similar ideals and principles. We embarked on creating a kit that would behave as a modular analog synthesizer but was accessible to anyone with an interest in sound. We started by ideating the different modules that might be possible and picked the ones that would offer the most complete and varied experience.
After several modules for the kit were selected, a MAX/MSP patch was created to simulate the behavior between them. This simulation informed a lot of the features and interactions the modules now possess.
When thinking about the hardware layouts, the original sketches included trim pots for controls. This ensured the modules would remain small and there was no current precedent for a module to contain more than one potentiometer. After some reflection, it was realized that creating an instrument that required a screwdriver to adjust the controls would not be useful in a performance setting. We then decided to take the step to replace the trim pots with potentiometers, breaking a current convention but making the kit much more playable.
Each module has a story behind how it came about. Find out more about how each module developed here.
LittleBits, a New York company to emerge from Cork man Liam Casey’s PCH Accelerator has raised US$11.1m in a funding round led by True Ventures and Foundry Group and two new investors Two Sigma Ventures and Vegas Tech Fund.
Also participating in the round are returning investors Khosla Ventures, Mena Ventures, Neoteny Labs, O’Reilly AlphaTech, Lerer Ventures and an all-star lineup of new and returning angel investors noted below.
Previously, the company raised US$3.65 million in Series A funding and US$850,000 in Seed funding, bringing its total funding to date to over US$15 million. In June 2012, littleBits announced a partnership with global company PCH International to lead its Supply Chain Management.