Maker/Development
Quirkbot marries straws and brains for childhood fun and games

Strawbees made it so that everyday straws could be connected together to construct all kinds of interesting shapes and forms. Its simplicity stems from its incredibly basic, small structure that is easily understood by all.

Now, another campaign has come along with the intention of expanding the possibilities of Strawbees. The makers behind Quirkbot have created an Arduino microcontroller that can serve as the brains of any Strawbees creation, allowing users to breathe life into them by programming lights, sounds, and motion. Quirkbot is an extremely versatile “toy to make toys,” and as such imagination is the only thing limiting the potential of what comes from the marriage of both. A donation of $63 gets backers the Quirkbot starter kit with one Quirkbot, 10 LED lights, and one Servo motor. The $55,000 campaign is looking to have the product out by August 2015.

An easy to use visual programming interface tries to make Quirkbot accessible to anyone, so that creations like dogs and hula-hooping humanoid figures can be created. Backpack extensions expand on functionality by adding additional sensors, and when it isn’t being used as the centerpiece of a figure, it can be programmed to act as a controller for any game of application. However, these creations are facing an environment filled with imaginative, creative toys all vying for children’s attention, like Snaak and CubeCraft.

Nicholas Echevarria currently calls Shanghai home but is a Brooklyn native at heart. He writes about lifestyle, tech, and design and, whenever he gets the chance, indulges his addiction to biking and Hearthstone. Check out some more of his work at https://clippings.me/nicholasechevarria.