Quite simply, the best bit of kit we have ever used for introducing children to the maker culture, control technology, robots, coding and the rest. Cubelets are horrifically expensive but will take you from nursery through to year 6 as kids find they can do more and more with them.
Cubelets are a playful way to introduce kids to robotics as well as develop computational thinking (programming skills). Each little robotic block or cube is a mini-program. When magnetically snapped together with another cube or cubes, it creates a robot that can perform more complex functions. Think simple machine into complex machine but in this case, a robotic machine
What kids will learn
Using Cublets children will learn that robots, by definition, are special mechanical devices that can sense, think, and then act.
Cubelets come in three types of cubes: sensing, thinking, and acting. In other words, they’re the exact building blocks of robotics.
Each cube does something simple.
- Black cubes sense light and heat.
- Colored cubes perform thinking functions.
- Clear cubes are the actions.
- The dark blue cube is the battery power.
- The light blue cube is a Bluetooth for the free app.
Put the cubes together in different ways to perform robotic functions. And, depending on what cubes you use (your program,) they are now a complex program like this one:
black light-sensing cube + clear drive cube with wheels + a battery cube = a simple robotic car
Cubelets are perfect for beginners when it comes to computational thinking. Cubelets can be used with any age group to train our brains in how computers think.
Every time children put the Cubelets together, they can create a new, unique program. Luckily, to get you started, Cubelets comes with cards that explain each block as well as a book with ideas and challenges.
Cubelets develop design thinking, complexity, systems thinking, perseverance, project-based learning, and when possible, collaboration.
LEGO fans will love the Cubelets Brick Adapters that let you connect to Lego® and other brick-based constructions.
Oh, and Cubelets just introduced a new operating system, 4.0. You can upgrade the o/s from older sets by buying the bluetooth block to connect to the internet via your computer.
We have the Cubelets TWELVE set with 12 robot blocks and two Brick Adapters. It retails for $329.95 on the ModRobotics website. (Gasp!) A set of TWENTY on Amazon is $499.95. More affordable is the mini-kit of SIX for $159.95. Invididual cubes are available for purchase if you’re wanting to add on to an existing kit.
Is it worth it? We would say yes, especially when we look at some of the junk buys that we see in some schools. Schools would happily spend this – and a lot more – on a reading or maths scheme. Now that digital competence is a core subject like literacy or numeracy, we think the investment is justified. Remember, it is not just the blocks you are buying but also all the free materials and resources. Check out the Cubelets lesson plans and the Bluetooth app on Apple and Android platforms.
Watch this video to see robots that you can make with your Cubelets: