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Hands-on with Atoms: a Kickstarter-funded 'modular robotic toy' (video)

Hands-on with Atoms: a Kickstarter-funded 'modular robotic toy' (video)
Joseph Volpe
Joseph Volpe|@jrvolpe|January 7, 2013 10:01 PM

Sitting apart from the abundance of health-tracking apps and gadgets on display here at the CES 2013 Bluetooth SIG event is a toy made for the creative-minded geek: Atoms. Fueled by a successful kickstarter campaign, these intelligent building blocks veer away from the intimidating halo surrounding other DIY entries like Raspberry Pi which require a certain level of programming proficiency, allowing any user to pick up a kit, then plug and play. Color-coded according to their usage -- blue for sensors, green for action and red for connectors -- the modules offer users an 'unlimited' number of applications (think: weaving these into clothing).

But not everyone's going to be brimming with ideas and to that end the company's created four separate packages that'll begin shipping in June. On the low-end, there's a $29 prankster kit, which incorporates an exploding block, a $49 monster set that includes eight different modules, including one for voice recording and playback, a $59 magic wand set and, finally, on the high-end, a $79 iOS tank set. Compared to the number of pieces allocated to the cheaper sets, the two motors included in this latter iOS option may not seem like much, but it does also come bundled with a Bluetooth 4.0 brick and companion app for literal remote control. If you're looking to dig deeper into the Atoms experience, you'll be able to purchase each individual module à la carte. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until this summer to get your own hands-on with Atoms, but in the meanwhile, check out our gallery and a brief video demo below.

Jon Fingas contributed to this report.

Gallery: OPPO Find 3 UI | 5 Photos


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Hands-on with Atoms: a Kickstarter-funded 'modular robotic toy' (video)