Remember Cubelets?


Back in February of 2011, I made a post about a cool product from Modular Robotics called "Cubelets." Cubelets are an awesome way to introduce people to embedded electronics and physical computing. Each cube has a different function and you attach multiple cubes together to create different projects and small robots. They are pretty awesome!

Well, Modular Robotics has been hard at work making Cubelets even better and recently released the above video showing some of the awesome things you can do with their product. Check it out! We are big fans of Modular Robotics (they are based in Boulder, CO - just like us) and the work they have been doing. Check out their webpage for more information on Cubelets and to pre-order your own set.


Comments 31 comments

  • There is a lot of facial hair in Colorado.

  • Check out the team and advisers behind Modular Robotics. Note that Nathan is an adviser. We have an amazing group residing here in little olde Boulder! …on Canyon just east of 17th

  • SparkFunions! It’s Dutch. http://www.modrobotics.com/blog/?p=391

  • Funny. He sounds like the Norwegian foreman in Hell On Wheels on AMC. :-)

  • Kids these days get all of the cool toys!!

  • Yes, but I don’t get the part at the start where he talks about “U.N. Bumblebees”

  • It’s a cute idea, but way overpriced. $160 for 6 cubes that can only build robots that can move in one direction in a straight line? People have been building BEAM robots for years with paperclips and phone vibrator motors that can do more and cost less than a tenth what these do. I see LC’s comment that they can be programmed, but I don’t see any mention of it on their website so it doesn’t seem to be supported. Which means that they really can’t do much. I guess they might be nice for an introduction to robots for kids, but I think even kids would be ready to move on to something with more capability, like Lego Mindstorms, pretty quickly.

    • I’m sure that it is expensive - just invent something cheaper and more capable - that’s the beauty of places like this. You don’t like a commercial product? Invent one that is better, cheaper, faster, etc. :)

      • The <a href=“http://shop.lego.com/en-CA/Robotics-ByCategory;jsessionid=WG72MG6qL8sqGjlIVIBtUA**.lego-ps-2-2”>sensors</a> are quite expensive too.

      • LEGO Mindstorms $299.99 at amazon

        2 touch sensors 1 color sensor 1 ultrasonic sensor 3 servo motors with encoder feedback

        612 parts to build with Graphical programming interface definitely hackable (hardware and software)!

        Still WAY more expensive and less flexible than making your own.

        Cubelets seem like a refined solution to get people thinking about robotics without the huge learning curve. I coach a FLL Mindstorms team, and it took me our entire 14 week season to get just some of the kids up to speed with programming. This completely eliminates that and just lets you snap together and start experimenting. I wish I could afford this for my team, but at this price…..

        • I think it is cool, too. My 6 year old son is a bit overwhelmed by the Mindstorms stuff (though he does like to take things that his older brother makes and put heads and limbs on them from other lego stuff…) It is a bit pricy, but I think we are getting to see this at a not quite ready for prime time stage. If it is a really good idea, he will either scale up and the price will drop, or someone else will. If I had fewer responsibilities, it would be cool enough to buy now.

          • heads and limbs? Reminds me of one of the kids' little brothers on the mindstorms team I was on. He made a lego man and put an… ummm… appendage on it. xD (he was like 7 years old)

            • I’m sure that’s just around the corner. I’m hoping the geek takes over in him before the scamp gets out of control. The other geeks in the house have him surrounded…

  • I really like the idea. They would be an awesome way for kids to learn about robotic systems. But it seems way too expensive. $160 for 6 blocks and one of the blocks doesn’t do anything at all. There’s only so much you can do with 6 blocks..

  • Aaargh! Stupid Dutch accent. He sounds just like our beloved friend Jo Bonten (google him if you want to survive in this harsh world we live in). Cool idea though!

    • Yes this definitely is a dutch accent. Very annoying.

      It sounds like they let our dutch prime minister Mark Rutte do the voice in this promotional video… Whatever made them decide to choose someone with a strong dutch accent? The way he talks, you’d think they are targetting toddlers as their demographic.

      • I was convinced too that this is a dutch accent. And also, it seemed as if the voice was dubbed. But that could be due to all the hair :-)

  • I don’t get it. Is this making fun of someone? Maybe the Swiss?

    Very strange.

    • I don’t think it’s making fun of anyone - just a zany guy showing off a cool product!

    • Why, if it’s a Boulder-based company, would they market the product using a guy with a ridiculous foreign accent? If the flavor of the guy in the log cabin had ANYTHING to do with the product, then I’d allow it, but it just seems like they tried way to hard with this one.

      Could they have done a simple product demo in-house and have reduced the price of these units by 5 to 10 percent? I don’t mind paying for R&D, but I do mind paying for over-the-top marketing. How much did it cost to fly in the European guy?

    • By the way I am swiss :-) … tell me how many languages you speak ? Let me guess ….

    • I don’t think he was crazy enough to be Swiss. But the accent was definitely entertaining.

  • Our Pick and Place Manager, Bobby, and I got to play with these at Modular Robotics a little while ago. They are a lot of fun and very intuitive. Coolest of all is that it’s not a closed system! You can reprogram any Cubelet using a C based IDE. So not only are the functional possibilities that Cubelets represents endless, but they are a great teaching tool as well!


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