littleBits is an open source library of modular electronics that snap together with magnets. By connecting tiny pre-assembled circuit boards, users are able to create sophisticated projects without having to know anything about electronics or programming. Often compared to a fancy version of Legos, littleBits has been used by interactive artists, engineers, and anyone who is interested in technology.
littleBits is the easiest way for anyone to get started with electronics. All a person needs to bring an idea to life is a circuit and some imagination. Since its exhibition at the 2009 MakerFaire, creators have developed all sorts of interesting projects including a sound machine, a remote control FaceTime car, a space helmet, and more.
The biggest selling point for littleBits was that it required no programming; however, this left people who enjoyed the programming aspect in the dark. Many users who were capable of tweaking littleBits to do even more found it wasn’t possible – until now.
Today, littleBits has introduced a brand new Arduino module that brings programming into the mix. The limited edition bundle contains eight popular prototyping modules along with everything you need to get started including a power supply and two mounting boards. If you’re already familiar with Arduino, littleBits will have you programming for hours.
“The partnership with littleBits is exciting and moreover logical with Arduino philosophy thanks to open and well-designed products. We work together in the same direction, to move electronics easier for everyone, artists, designers, makers, students and other do-it-yourself enthusiasts.”
— Massimo Banzi, Arduino Co-Founder and CEO
Take for example the “Fish on Wheels” – a motorized car that is steered by a fish inside a bowl. With littleBits, you could add sensors to the car that will trigger a buzzer whenever the fish leaves the room. Or, if you’re really serious about programming, you could program the fish-mobile to reward your fish with some food every time he goes into the kitchen. The possibilities are endless.
Technology that once required complicated engineering has now become very user-friendly. Anyone who is interested in creating their own electronic project but doesn’t have a keen understanding of programming can benefit from both littleBits and Arduino. The only question you have to ask yourself is, “what do I want to make?”