Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ATOMS: Lego for the digital generation

The Next Web has published a review of one of Seamless Toy Company's smart building block toys.

Excerpts follow:

"ATOMS are essentially a system of plug-and-play sensors, motors and logic blocks, aimed at children and adults alike. Different colours represent different functions – yellow bricks sense things (e.g. detect movement), red bricks ‘connect’ (e.g. power things), green bricks are all about ‘logic’ (e.g. they affect the outputs) and blue bricks are concerned with action – in other words they ‘do’ things."

"We managed to get our hands on a Bunsen Set, which is a so-called ‘Scaredy Quark’ that can be afraid of light, and is also prone to being clumsy."

"The Bunsen Set ships with a light sensor, control knob, battery, splitter, motor, and audio recorder. While it’s apparently aimed at those aged 6 years and over, based on our initial tinkerings we doubt anyone that young would be able to construct this without a lot of help from an adult or older sibling. That’s not to say it was difficult to build per se, it’s just that it does require paying a lot of attention to the instructions which aren’t always that clear to follow."

"The ATOMS kit we used was great. The set in itself may not be essential, but it definitely helps you grasp what it is you’re actually doing. For example, the built-in voice recorder means you could record a ‘snoring’ noise which is activated when you pull the visor down over the bot’s eyes. Or you can hide it somewhere (e.g. a dark cupboard) and make it blurt out a noise (“Aaaaggghhhh”) when someone opens the door."

"[ATOMS] have been designed so they can be placed in other kids toys (e.g dolls), sewn into clothing and attached to LEGO blocks. Take the Wave Wand Set, a kit that includes an exploding brick. So you potentially could bring a LEGO house to life by ‘blowing it up’ from the inside, triggered perhaps by the flash of a camera."

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