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An Introduction to littleBits Electronics

Monday, May 19, 2014

We’ve been getting lots of questions about littleBits, the hot new product taking the electronics world by storm. Allow us to introduce you to littleBits and tell you why we think they’re so cool.    

littleBits are the LEGO of electronics. Instead of bricks, littleBits connect with magnets, and just like LEGO, provide endless hours of fun and creative possibilities. littleBits allows you to “make something that does something”, as their slogan says. Projects include sensors, meters, robotics, probability generators, communications, games, wearables, displays, and a wireless music transmission based on the International Space Station and a partnership with NASA. littleBits are great for children, educational foundations, engineers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in engineering that doesn’t have the knowledge (or does). There’s no soldering, wiring, or programming required!   

littleBits offers roughly 50 modules, or “bits”, divided into 4 categories: power, input, wire, and output. The categories are color-coded for even further ease of use: power bits are blue, input pink, wire orange, and output green. Input and output bits are tied to specific functions, such as lights, sound, sensors, switches, triggers, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc. Each bit is clearly labeled so you can tell at a glance not only what category it falls into, but also its specific function. Built in magnets serve as connectors, and make snapping bits together easy. There’s no wrong way to put littleBits together; you have limitless possibilities for what you can create.  

littleBits has also announced an upcoming Cloud module, which will make it easier than ever to create devices featuring internet connectivity.

littleBits Development Kits and Bundles

Kits and bundles are the best way to get started with littleBits. Each kit has a different collection of modules that allow you to make something that moves, lights up, or makes sound, and offers billions of creative possibilities. There’s the Exploration Series of kits, which offer a great starting point for getting hooked on littleBits. You can also buy the Space Kit, which allows you to make your own Mars rover and comes with activities straight from NASA, or the Synth Kit, which lets you build your own analog synthesizer. 

The newly released limited edition Arduino Starter Bundle is a great way to get familiar with Arduino programming. It comes with eight prototyping modules (three inputs, three outputs, battery, and power) and eight Arduino Getting Started sketches. 

Bundles and kits can also be expanded with Boosts, which are collections of popular bits in given categories. There’s a wireless boost, a light boost, a touch boost, and a sensor boost. Additionally, individual bits can be connected with any bundle or kit to further expand your options.  


   

Interested in getting started with littleBits? Call Symmetry at 310-536-6190 or contact us online and we can help you find the right bits or kits to make your idea come to life. 

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Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.

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