Kids/Babies
The SBrick Plus hides STEM education inside toy bricks

As a child, there’s not much better than having a full set of Legos to go to town on. As adults, there isn’t much out there as fondly remembered as the classic building blocks. Now, with the explosion of IoT technology, the SBrick Plus take clicking together plastic bricks up a notch.

The sequel to the successfully funded SBrick back in 2014, the SBrick Plus is a Bluetooth-enabled brick placed into Lego models to control them remotely using a smart device like a phone, tablet, gamepad or PC. What’s more, the SBrick Plus uses sensors from the WeDo 1.0 family that can be programmed in several languages and track variables like tilt and proximity for fun uses in model planes, for example. What the SBrick really allows for are dynamic educational experiences in the home and in the classroom, something the team behind the product facilitates with a series of lessons designed to teach the fundamentals of programming and robotics. This is especially true since it can be programmed with the child-friendly Scratch language and later, with the more complex JavaScript and Apple’s Swift for greater learning potential. The result? Model helicopters with rotating blades or remotely controlled Lego vehicles, just to name a few. Backers can grab an SBrick Plus and two sensors for $109, slated to ship December 2016. The SBrick Plus campaign is looking for $50,000 by November 7th, 2016 to see success.

The pairing of the widely-adored Lego with the kind of smart seen in most crowdfunding products makes for a beautifully accessible combination. The SBrick Plus’ versatility impressive, boasting a wide-range of possible creations and the opportunity to learn all throughout the process of making each of them. Similar products looking to intro little ones to programming are the Eedu, Codeybot and Kamibot.