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Description: Emergence is the science of how complex behaviors can arise from lots of smaller, simpler interactions. Cubelets harvest the awesome power of emergent behavior so that you can stack, snap, shuffle and otherwise assemble your own robot without any programming or any wires.

Cubelets are magnetic blocks that can be snapped together to make an endless variety of robots. You can build robots that drive around on a tabletop, respond to light, sound, and temperature, and have surprisingly lifelike behavior. But instead of programming that behavior, you snap the cubelets together and watch the behavior emerge like with a flock of birds or a swarm of bees.

Each cubelet in the kit has different equipment on board and a different default behavior. There are Sense Blocks that act like our eyes and ears, Action blocks which affect the world around your robot, and Think blocks which are like your brain.

Note: Cubelets require a special battery and charger. You will need to purchase the charger separately.

Kit Includes:

  • Drive Block: A motor and wheels to get your robot moving
  • Flashlight Block: A bright white LED which emits a focused beam of light
  • Brightness Block: Detects the level of ambient light
  • Distance Block: An Infrared range finder accurate between 10 and 80 cm
  • Battery Block: The power-plant for your robot
  • Passive Block: A pass-through you can use to connect the other blocks

Documents:

Comments 25 comments

  • What’s the minimum facial hair requirement?

  • Kinda expensive for 6 blocks. It’s about 27$ per block. I noticed you didn’t use just six blocks it came with in the product post.

    • I tried, but Eric wanted to use more :-)

      • So that was about a $400 robot. :-)

        • my math is rusty, so maybe ;-)

          • I counted 15 or 16 cubes for that annoy-a-tron you made at the end so about right.

            • Yeah the one thing that has always sorta shot down these types of things for me has always been the price.

              Still I really like the concept behind them.

              I also welcome with open arms the shipment of cublets that shall jackknife on the interstate and the resulting self assembling cublet overlords.

              ….. and you all thought it was Skynet that was going to get us :P

  • I agree, too expensive; worst thing though: shouldn’t the charger have the form of a cublet????

  • I don’t see how these cubes demonstrate emergent behavior. Just because you can assemble them to produce different behaviors isn’t emergent behavior. The behaviors produced can be reduced to the behaviors of the individual cubes. They would have to do something novel or totally unexpected. If they started putting other cubes together to produce things they could use that might be emergent behavior.

  • I really like the art on the box, very creative. I think everyone has missed the two words on the bottom line, on the side of the box, “beta release”.

    Adding a charger and or building upgraded kits will likely come later. I’ll keep my eyes open on that and if it comes to the point where I can annoy the parents of my younger relatives, it might show up as a Christmas gift.

    • But aren’t beta releases to get the bugs out? Well here is a bug. It doesn’t come with a battery charger and its a charger that’s not really available at Walmart. So its like the cool toy I got for Christmas without the special 6v lantern battery and of course these were the days when everything closed on Christmas.

      Also I don’t see the price lowering after it gets out of beta. So its still a very expensive toy where without all the different parts its very limited in what it can do.

      It appears that with this starter box you can make 2 maybe 3 bots. Yes you can change around the parts but its still the same bot.

      I think its an interesting product and I hope the Cubelets people are reading this because I think this the kind of feedback they are looking for.

      • I think the exclusion of the battery charger was intentional. This looks like a kit of the most basic, and probably most used cubelets. Therefore people are (eventually) likely to buy more than one. By not including the charger with the kit it allows Modular Robotics to leave ~$15.00 off the price for this kit.

        As noted in rsp’s earlier comment, the chargers are available now both directly from Modular Robotics as well as Battery Junction. Sparkfun just doesn’t have them available right now (though I wonder why they didn’t wait on listing this kit until they did have a shipment of chargers as well…).

  • It’s a cool concept but considering you’d have to buy multiple sets to really do much with it, and there is no charger included for $160 I’ll pass.

  • Why would a parent choose this has over Lego Mindstorms? Am I missing something?

    • The issue I see is that unless you have all the different types of cubes you can only make so many things with the 6 cube pack. I’m just not sure how much repeat play-ability it has.

      Even with the cubes that are out you can only do so much. Like the wheel cubes can only run on very smooth surfaces.

      It looks like a great “toy”, a very expensive “toy”.

    • I don’t think you are. Although the price is kind of high, assuming that were to drop, these things look very much simpler, and there is less dexterity and planning involved. It might be a great way to show a 4 year old robots, or an older child that shows no interest in building complicated things (I assume these exist; mine certainly aren’t like that, nor was I, nor anyone I knew). Very quick, ad hoc demonstrations to school kids ought to be really easy.

      I like the idea of these. I just find them out of my price range for diddling around.

  • Anyone else thinking.

    You will be assimilated. Resistance is Futile.

  • Kids can throw together a robot in 10 second flat :) Use two range sensor blocks and two motor blocks for a quick object avoiding / chasing diff-drive bot.

  • The battery charger is available here, in black and here, in white, with spare batteries.

    • Yeah, what he said! We’re going to be carrying it soon as well. Thanks for the links. That’s the correct one.

      • So there is no charger in the box? Does it have rechargeable batteries included? It seems like if this is some sort of starter kit, it should have the charger included.

        • Correct, it only comes with what you see. I agree, it would be nice if a charger were included…


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