National STEM Day is right around the corner. If you are looking for a way to interest your kid in STEM or looking for a fun new project for your little geekling then check out the Itty Bitty Buggy by Microduino. The Itty Bitty Buggy is a code programmable toy (CPT) that combines play, creativity, and logic by Microduino Inc., the award-winning global designer, developer, manufacturer of STEM learning systems.
If you are not familiar with Microduino projects, then it’s time you were introduced. Finding fun and engaging projects that provides your child with all the tools they need to learn and play right out of the box can be challenging in a world where everything claims to be an educational toy. Microduino is one of those companies that keeps the child in mind when they design and develop. They build toys and products that power the imagination, inspiring your kids to imagine, explore, and create in all the ways that our children naturally grow and develop. Their latest kit, Itty Bitty Buggy, is a true STEM experience in every aspect and the best part is that it’s also affordable. With Christmas on the way that’s a huge point in their favor. Nothing is more annoying than finding a great STEM toy for your child only to see a two-hundred dollar price tag attached.
What Is Itty Bitty Buggy?
Itty Bitty Buggy a STEM educational toy kit that invites children to build and design their own mobile buddy. Introduced at World Maker Faire New York this past September, Itty Bitty Buggy is a skill-building product designed for ages 8 and up, but it’s designed so well that it can engage and inspire kids of all ages. The kit offers them the option to build one of the creatures from the instructions on the app or you can come up with a your own creation. The endless design and configuration possibilities excite the imagination and allow the kit to be used and reused for hours of edutainment.
The Itty Bitty Buggy kit comes with a base Buggy plus four options to build a sloth, a ladybug, a dodo bird, and an alien. But don’t let those choices limit your child. Encourage them to modify one of the projects or challenge them to create your own idea. Itty Bitty Buggy is programmable in Scratch, so if you or your child have no coding experience, no problem. Jump right in and introduce your child and/or yourself to basic programming concepts. What’s that? Your child is already a fledgling programmer? Great! Itty Bitty Buggy is programmable in Python or Arduino so they can have fun and expand their budding skills.
Build Cool Creations That Do Stuff
Designed for new builders, budding creators, and even the more seasoned makers, inventors, and tinkerers, the Itty Bitty Buggy takes you step by step through the process to bring each of their pre-designed creatures to life. Users can then select one of four four modes—Ranger, Cruiser, Voice Control, and Musician—to the individual creatures through the use of the Itty Bitty Buggy free app and remotely control their movements.
Any and all of the projects built with Itty Bitty Buggy can be controlled either remotely or with voice via the app. Choose a configuration and enjoy. The Sloth configuration allows your Itty Bitty Buggy creation to climb. In this configuration, your creation can traverse the house using curtain rods, shower rods, stair railings, or even a length of string. Want to make a particularly interesting creation? Try out the Dodo bird form of Itty Bitty Buggy and watch its hilarious wing flapping motions! Imagine all the ways you can modify this fun design. The Lady Bug form is capable of walking and looks a lot like an actual lady bug. It walks on four legs and shares a common ability with Itty Bitty Buggy standard form in that it can follow lines from either the track provided or one that you’ve drawn. With the Alien form, Itty Bitty Buggy takes on the appearance of a bipedal alien creature. Is it here as an invader? Does it want to be friends? Is it a lost being from an exploration mission? You decide because you are in control of this Alien with your smartphone/tablet app.
What Makes It Cool
The project-based kit is compatible with more than 50 Microduino modules and sensors and is packed with a rich, fun-filled feature set including:
Controlled over Bluetooth – With the app, your Itty Bitty Buggy Buddy is under your control. Make it climb, walk, or follow your annoying kid brother around. The choice is yours.
Intelligent Line Following – Your Itty Bitty Buggy Buddy will follow a line map which you can draw. Make your own race track or just a winding road under the living room furniture. Your creature will make its journey along the lines and change its direction when the lines change—no intervention needed.
Voice Controlled – Hands full but you want your Itty Bitty Buggy Buddy to join you as you go about your business? Use the voice control and tell it where to go or what to do.
Musical Color Recognition – In the mood for some music? Your Buggy can oblige. It will recognize colors and each color represents a musical note. Make that winding road through the living room more interesting with a tune along the way.
- LEGO-compatible block connection
- High torque gear motor which enables differential steering
- Hub supports LEGO-compatible form factor so users can design a variety of configurations
- Microduino uses the patented U27 mCookie series for expansion and creativity by adding technologies
- Multiple sensor hubs support a broad variety of sensors
- Long life rechargeable battery
- Embedded Bluetooth supports uploading program and mobile phone control
- MicroUSB hub for battery charging and direct program uploading
Learning and Fun In One
Everyone needs and Itty Bitty Buggy! Programming it is so simple that even beginners and those new to the maker world can create their very own Itty Bitty Buggy Buddy. While having fun, kids learn the logic behind the functions and enjoy the building and playing. Grab your Itty Bitty Buggy today and spend National STEM Day helping your child build a versatile, exciting toy that can perform many functions while teaching them to apply logic and problem solving skills. Quality family time doesn’t get better than this! Itty Bitty Buggy is truly an educational toy that opens the doors to STEM education and gives kids a leg up. The Itty Bitty Buggy is available for $59.99.
Want to take their learning and fun to the next level? Check out the Microduino Itty Bitty City. While their Indiegogo project ended some time ago, it’s still a great toy that will generate real holiday cheers.