Despite being a huge fan of littleBits’ ethos of creating gender-neutral toys, I was nervous about taking on the Droid Inventor Kit. I am not naturally tech-savvy so have been wary of STEM toys and the “Ages 8+” tag on the bottom of the box did little to assuage my fears.
It turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s impressively intuitive; the kit’s free app guides you through each of the 16 + ‘missions’, designing new build/drive modes along the way with clear step-by-step videos. Each ‘mission’ has the added bonus of unlocking new features: more droid noises, recorded message delivery etc. And once you have completed your first few missions the build process is familiar enough that you really can – as the box proclaims – design your own droid. Personally I’m a fan of a droid with little sweepers that clean my lunch crumbs off my desk- although the highly sensitive, obstacle navigating, tilt/joystick, drive capabilities make for a brilliant little attack-bot. As a toy designed to get kids into robotics and coding this could not be better!
The components are really well constructed. Despite being made up of many sensitive parts the droid feels ‘play-proof’. Solid plastic, durable sensors & motors with wire connection ports I wish I could get on my apple products. The front panel attachment is not as stable as the rest of the body, but at no point does this feel like a toy destined to end up broken in month one and stashed at the back of the toy-shelf. LittleBits is more than ready to fight by your side in any rebel missions…or in empire missions, if that’s your thing.