Maker kit company littleBits has teamed up with Disney to release the Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit, an app-controlled modular electronics kit that’ll let you – or the kids in your life – build and customise your own R2 Unit and more.
The kit comes with a selection of components and a step-by-step guide to help you build a fully functional R2 droid, with customisable colour schemes and capabilities including self-navigation, a remote control Drive Mode and a mobile arm to help it interact with the world. A sound unit means that you’ll be able to experience R2’s authentic beeps and boops as it follows your instructions.
Building on the skills learned during assembly, the kit and its accompanying app challenge droid-builders to hone their expertise by training their R2 Unit to carry out tasks such as finding its way around an obstacle course or defending a room.
More advanced tasks use the kit as a basis for creating custom droids, using household items to transform R2 into a delivery unit or clean-up crew assistant. The Droid Inventor Kit is also compatible with other littleBits components, giving further scope for sophisticated droid development as you attain truly Jawa-like engineering skills.
littleBits is a system of modular, open source and extremely flexible electronic building blocks that clip together using magnets to form functional, educational and lovely projects. The littleBits system is built to be instantly accessible to kids and is a popular educational tool, but its power and flexibility mean that it has a following among makers, engineers and schools alike.
Founder Ayah Bdeir told WIRED last year: “We want to empower young and old to feel creative, confident and active, and to be inspired and empowered by technology. There’s such a big opportunity to build a company that democratises invention”.
The littleBits Droid Inventor Kit comes to shops including John Lewis, Amazon, The Disney Store, Harrods and the Apple Store on ‘Force Friday’ – September 1 – priced at £99.99.