Testing Little Bits Extended Kit

Tested LittleBits Extended Kit with two brothers I know with Aspergers (Jacob, 15, Adam 9/10). Both are very able and social but still struggle with attention span. Both were initially intrigued by the packaging and colourful bits but Adam found it a lot more exciting and willing to try than his older brother and this report is from his experience.

I explained very briefly about the colours and how the pink sensors have to be before the green output but he got it pretty quickly and was making circuits in no time. He understood how the light sensor worked and we made the LittleBits box sound an alarm when opened (see video) and also similar to a fridge we made the light turn on when opened and off when shut.

After suggesting many of my own ideas about making a drinks stirrer, doorbell, he couldn’t see any point and preferred not to. On my part, a theme or plan of some sort would have encouraged more creativity. But, instead Adam made a really long circuit using every output possible and multiple switches. He understood that the first toggle switch controlled the power to everything, whilst the switches in between only controlled what he put after it, and if you put two switches together, both need to be on for the output to work.

Creativity problems:

– Having more outputs rather than simply buzzer, fan, light, motor would have been      beneficial (LittleBits starter pack combined with Extended kit gives more possibilities).

Practicality problems:

– LittleBits bits, are quite flimsy – when making a long circuit on the table, as soon as you lift it up, it falls apart and needs to be reassembled.

– The bits are more difficult to attach together than it appears – Adam did struggle and it took him 4/5 attempts each time to attach them. – Magnets are not that strong so don’t repel enough to indicate it is the wrong way.

– Fan output too weak for any of the projects we tried (couldn’t move a tissue!!)

-Motion sensor didn’t function from close up or further away.

https://vimeo.com/71506274

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About kassieh

Art and Psychology Graduate Technical Consultant for the Living Archive Project
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