Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Makeblock's Lego-like 'Neuron' teaches kids robotics and code

Build an IoT cat feeder and other projects with a voice sensor, camera and other modules.
1421 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Makeblocks, a company known for kid-friendly robotics and DIY hovercraft-drones, is launching a new gadget-building platform called Neuron. It's like Lego meets Littlebits -- you get over 30 blocks with different functions that kids can snap together and then program to create science experiments or gadgets like an internet-connected cat feeder. The system is platform agnostic, the company says, so it can work with products like Lego and even Microsoft's Cognitive Services AI platform.

There are four kits available: Explorer, Light Wizard, Science Lab and All-in-One. Each is equipped with basic blocks like a light sensor and adjustment knob, with the different kits featuring specialized blocks geared toward a child's interests, like cold cathode, WiFi and camera blocks. Others include a voice sensor, Bluetooth, ultrasonic and display module.

Once your kit is set up, you can program it using Makeblock's mBlock, a graphical and flow-based programming system, with "no prior coding knowledge necessary," the company says. It also promises steady updates to allow for new projects and capabilities. mBlock is based on Scratch 2.0, a code teaching program, so it should be easy for kids who've done some Arduino programming to pick up.

Other features include remote control via WiFi (letting kids water plants or feed pets via a smartphone), high durability, third-party software (including Microsoft's Cognitive Services AI platform) and Lego compatibility, presumably letting you marry Neuron with Mindstorms, or at least use Lego blocks as structural elements in projects.

The Makebot Neuron project is launching on Kickstarter starting at $69, meaning you're taking a mild risk ordering it. However, the Shenzhen, China-based company says its products are in over 25,000 schools, and it has done a bunch of successful Kickstarter campaigns, including the mBot robot building kit (above), Codeybot code-teaching robot and Airblock drone-cum-hovercraft, which garnered $830,000 by itself. The Kickstarter campaign launches next week, and we'll update this post with a link once it does.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1421 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

YouTube Originals will be free to watch starting on September 24th

YouTube Originals will be free to watch starting on September 24th

View
Nintendo will replace a newly purchased Switch with newer model

Nintendo will replace a newly purchased Switch with newer model

View
Google pulls 85 Android apps with particularly obnoxious adware

Google pulls 85 Android apps with particularly obnoxious adware

View
24 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

24 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

View
A popular immigration bill is bad news for US esports

A popular immigration bill is bad news for US esports

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr