Six different types of cubelets and the carrying box

What are Cubelets & Should I Consider Buying Them?

It’s a common occurrence so don’t let it worry you. After a few weeks of coding with their favourite software, little Jimmy or Janie may come to you and say “Dad, Mum, I’m bored with Scratch/Blockly etc…. What else can I do?” It happens. It has happened, on countless occasions in our home base. And it’s natural. Don’t get me wrong – block based programming has its place. It provides a great introduction to logic, problem-solving and sequencing; demonstrating how making small changes can make big impacts. But what if your kid is not a fan of this drag and drop interface? They might possibly like to feel, to touch and to experience rather than just clicking and dragging things around. They may even have additional needs, which might prevent them from using a mouse and keyboard. How might we address such an issue? This is where Cubelets might come in handy. “Cubelets? What are Cubelets?” I hear you say.




 

Cubelets Are For Kids To Play With

Building with Cubelets is a different robotics experience. Pronounced ‘Cube Eh Lets’, they are actual, physical blocks that can inspire learning through play. A quirky product and a fresh take on robotics, they appear to be something that might just engage very young children (age 4+) in learning to build robots. One of the beauties of the product is that kids don’t need to know how code or wire electrical components to begin constructing pretty nifty creations. All they have to do is snap blocks together and magnetic forces do the rest. There is no wrong way to do it really. Every unique arrangement means a different and one-of-a-kind creation.

Break the Blocks Down

Each block or ‘cubelet’ has a name and a function. It is very important to know what each cubelet does individually so you can work out what they all do together as they are snapped together into various robots. There are three types:

  1. Action Cubelets do things. They are like outputs in a machine and can carry out various functions, including lighting up, moving forwards and backwards or spinning around.
  2. Sense Cubelets are like inputs. They respond to external factors like your sense of sight, touch or hearing. The sense cubelet takes the input and passes the information to the Think Cubelet.
  3. Think Cubelets are smart. As robots are machines that sense first – then think – then carry out an action, Think Cubelets are placed between Sense and Action Cubelets. They can carry out mathematical operations or logical functions, converting the input sense into data the Action Cubelet can understand and process to create output!




Are Cubelets Good Value For Money?

It really depends on how motivated you think your gang will be in using them. There are a number of options if you are considering buying. The 6-block option is available from both amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. It is quite versatile and interesting, comprising of drive, flashlight, distance, brightness, passive and battery Cubelets. However, you may find that the possibilities for various robotic designs will be limited. It is also possible add extra blocks to your inventory should you wish.

What Are Cubelets? 20 block option

For a greater range of possible builds you might want to consider the 12-Block or 20-Block options. These will provide you with much more flexibility in terms of the types of reactive robots you can build and experiment with.

My Thoughts

Cubelets is a very attractive product; it’s concept quite similar to that of Project Bloks. It’s just so simple and there are tons of possibilities for education. In my opinion, Cubelets have the potential to be a fantastic addition to a STEM classroom, or MakerSpace tool kit; but perhaps not really designed as a family activity toy. Let’s not duck the issue, expense may be a factor here but why not think beyond that. They may just┬áprovide that deep learning experience for every child who is looking for it. For example, to build a robot that stops before it falls off a table requires kids to think about design, testing, debugging and making changes – skills that are transferable, future-friendly and collaborative. What are Cubelets? Cubelets are fun!

 

 

10 comments

  1. Hi! This is a great find for my grandchildren! I had not heard of these and when you use the name coding, something else comes to mind, but your pictures of children caught my eyes just now!

    I will pass this site location on to my children.

    Thank you,

    Lynne

    1. Hi Lynne,
      Thank you for your lovely comment! I love how this product can engage the creative coding mind away from the screen and hope your grandkids find codingBox useful!
      Dan

  2. My aunt wants her son to be engineer so much and I will definitely tell her about Cubelets and I actually heard it first time too. You said 4+ can play but is 7.5 years old is too old?

    1. I don’t think it’s too old at all. My son is also 7 and a half and he loves things like this! They really get the creative juices going! Thanks for commenting Furkan!

  3. Awesome! At least my kids won’t just be on my phone for Youtube now. They can actually play with something physically. Looks like I’m getting one of these thanks to those kids! lol

  4. I don’t have kids, but I have your website saved in a special folder here for the future. I’ll definitely want my kids to learn a lot of things related to computing, coding and programming, and your tips are aways ludic and fun. Keep up with the good work!

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