Cubelets!


One of the great things about living in Boulder is, for a pretty small town, the high-tech industry is relatively hopping. There are huge companies like IBM and Lockheed-Martin in town, but also some small boutique-type places - like our friends at Modular Robotics.


Cubelets - so much more than a cute little robot.

Modular Robotics is the maker of Cubelets. What are Cubelets? They are a bit hard to describe but, generally, they are small, magnetic cubes that snap together to form simple robots. There are sensor blocks, action blocks, and think/utility blocks. The sensor blocks do things like sense distance, temperature, light, etc.. Action blocks do things like beep, display a bar graph, or move. Think/utility blocks make changes to the way the robot acts or can be a battery block. They are very cool and can be combined in an infinite number of ways to make all kinds of cool little robots. The best way to understand them is to see them in action - check out the video below!

As you can see, changing just one block makes a completely different robot. We here at SparkFun love these things because they help bring electronics to the masses. There are no wires necessary, no programming, and are an easy way to explore the question, "What would happen if I changed this bit?" Check out the Mod Robotics website to read more about the project.


Comments 29 comments

  • Cool! These are the Legos of the future.

  • …I wonder how often the term “relatively hopping” has been applied to the high-tech industry

  • So… When will SparkFun start carrying these?
    I’ll take 9000!!!

  • Totally rocks. It’s never too early for a “lego” set for my 4 month old! Her dad will keep them safe in the mean time.

  • Man, just in time for my birthday!
    …but sold out…doh!

  • Watching these, I can’t help but wonder if SparkFun could find a manufacturer of magnetic multi-pin connectors?

  • Almost as good as a new product thursday post :)

  • watched the vid and couldnt help but chuckle at it - very awsome application of electronics. would buy one if they were cheaper

  • These little things are pretty cool, but $300 for a kit. So much for bringing electronics to the masses with these. Still..If I had the money, I would definitely order myself a kit.

  • Reminds me of http://www.buglabs.net/products

  • Can I use cubelets to build a robot that builds robots out of cubelets?
    Is anyone else reminded of the “replicators” from the stargate TV series?

  • These are totally cute.

  • I had a similar idea. I never developed it though.

  • That’s quite similar to a game idea I once came up with. You have this space/gravity environment with 2d-squares/cubes in it, connecting to and sliding along magnetic locks. Think modular Spacewar. Each square has it’s own function like fuel-cell, thruster, laser/phaser, missile pod, genesis module (containing nanobots to create the others). And you should be able to write a program for them to function collectively. But ofcourse my fantasies far outreached my programming skils.

  • This is exactly the kind of stuff that would keep me enthralled for days on end.

  • Sweet.

  • I once built a range sensor-steerable diff' drive out of these, complete with sensor reading displays. It took all of 15 seconds to complete :P
    Reminded me a bit of Capsela. These are Great educational engineering toys for the youngsters!

  • Sooo stinkin cool!

  • standard kit: $300.00 http://www.modrobotics.com/cubelets sold out

  • I’m really curious about pricing, but the cubelets look amazing! Would totally want to buy some as a kit to teach people simple robotics.

  • Those are so… freakin'… cool.
    I mean, They’d be a great desk toy, for when you’ve got a mental block you need to work out (product name: Mental Blocks? lol) I think I’d probably get a bit annoyed with them because they seem too “smart” for someone who already knows robotics, like they have their own idea of how they should work when you put them together. I love it though, and you gotta love anything that snaps together with little magnets, I’ve been designing some pins and ribbon cables that snap together with magnets for prototyping.
    definitely clicking around the mod robots site.

  • those would be great fun - really good for teaching either kids or adults who don’t know much about robotics/electronics. It would also just be fun to play with!
    They are quite expensive though, but it’s expected

  • Definitely some incredibly cool stuff.


This Week

Heartbleed

This Month

Happy Arduino Day!

SXSW Create 2014