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B-Squares bring portable solar energy and Arduino compatibility to toy blocks (video)

Amar Toor, @amartoo
04.25.11
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We've seen plenty of portable solar chargers in our time, but few have looked quite as versatile as B-Squares -- a new collection of 3D modular energy storage devices that can be arranged in various configurations, according to the kind of gadget you're looking to juice. Developed by MIT grads Jordan McRae and Shawn Frayne, each solar-powered B-Square features a sticky microsuction surface, along with magnetic and electric contacts at each corner, making it easy to connect and arrange them in different formations. Rotating a single square will change its electrical circuit, depending on its adjacent connection. Some B-Squares, for example, feature LED surfaces, allowing you to create solar-powered lanterns, while others have solar panels, or simply serve as rechargeable battery sources. There's even a square devoted to Arduino boards, along with another surface designed to dock and charge iPhones. McRae and Frayne have already put together a full "recipe book" of different configurations, though the DIY route seems a lot more enticing to us. Their B-Squares are set to leave the prototype phase on May 1st, at an as yet unspecified price. Check them out in video action after the break.

[Thanks, Ryan]



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