Tag Archives: 3DRacers

Rewind: 27 STEM kits from 2015


These STEM toys from 2015 are helping to inspire the next generation of Makers.


STEM education has been a growing venture in schools across the country, with even the President himself making it a priority to encourage students as young as grade-school to pursue the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines. After all, these fields are changing the world rapidly within the areas of innovation, economic growth and employment. But let’s face it; these subjects don’t come easy to everyone, so how do we instill STEM in kids?

With this in mind, many startups have sought out new and exciting ways to entice the younger generation to explore their creativity and develop an interest in hands-on learning. Testament to that, here are several products from 2015 looking to inspire the next generation of Makers.

littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets

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The Gizmos & Gadgets Kit is the ultimate invention toolbox, complete with motors, wheels, lights , switches, servos, buzzers and even the tools to build a remote control.

Jewelbots

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Jewelbots are programmable friendship bracelets that teach girls the basics of coding.

Thimble

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Thimble is a monthly subscription service that delivers fun electronic projects with guided tutorials and a helpful community.

Touch Board Starter Kit

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Bare Conductive’s Touch Board Starter Kit contains everything you need to transform surfaces, objects or spaces into sensors.

Makey Makey GO

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Small enough to fit on your keychain, backpack or bracelet, Makey Makey GO turns everyday objects into touchpads and combines them with the Internet. Say hello to the world’s first invention kit.

RePhone

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RePhone from Seeed Studio allows Makers to create a phone themselves in minutes and hack a new way to communicate with things.

mBot

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mBot is an all-in-one, Arduino-compatible robot that supports wireless communication and employs Scratch 2.0-like coding.

Ringo

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Ringo is a miniature digital pet robot equipped with an accelerometer, a gyrosocope, six RGB LEDs, as well as sound and communication sensors.

Wink

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Wink is an Arduino-driven robot designed to help transition students from graphical programming to more powerful written code languages. It’s also the sibling of the aforementioned Ringo.

Kano

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Kano is a computer and coding kit for all ages that’s as simple as LEGO, powered by Raspberry Pi.

Primo Cubetto

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Primo Cubetto is a smart wooden robot designed to teach kids the basics of coding away from the screen.

Petduino

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Petduino puts a DIY twist on the old-school Tamagotchi.

STEMI

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STEMI is a hexapod that can be built right at home and controlled via smartphone.

mCookie

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mCookies are quarter-sized, stackable modules from Microduino that enable young Makers to bring their LEGO projects to life.

Modulo

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Modulo is a set of tiny modular circuit boards that takes the hassle out of electronics.

The Crafty Robot

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The Crafty Robot is a paper toy unlike any other — plug it into a USB port for 30 seconds, unplug it and you’ve got a moving robot.

Kamigami

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Kamigami is an origami-style robot you can construct and program by yourself. Each one can be configured with a unique set of behaviors and characteristics through a drag-and-drop interface.

Phiro

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Phiro is a LEGO-compatible robotics toy that children can play with, code and innovate in various ways.

Quirkbot

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With Quirkbot, young Makers can devise and configure quirky robots (hence its name), blinking outfits and weird sounding creatures out of regular drinking straws.

Cannybots

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Cannybots are LEGO-compatible, smart toy cars that introduce kids to the worlds of robotics, programming and 3D printing.

3DRacers

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3DRacers is a Mario Kart-like indoor racing game that lets anyone design and 3D print their own car.

Volta Flyer

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Volta Flyer is the world’s first DIY airplane kit that is solely powered by the sun.

Roby

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Roby is a 3D-printed robotic machine that not only drives on four wheels, but can walk on two. If it falls, it can even pick itself up again with its pair of arms.

O Watch

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O Watch is a DIY smartwatch for a kid, by a kid.

LocoRobo

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LocoRobo is a cute, inexpensive robot capable of being wirelessly programmed.

KamiBot

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KamiBot is a programmable, smartphone-controlled paper robot.

Pixel Pals

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Pixel Pals are easy-to-build, fun educational kits that grow from a project to a friend you can program.

Fiat Lux

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Fiat Lux is an Arduino-compatible kit specifically designed for unique wearable projects.

AZIBOt

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AZIBOt is an open source, 3D-printed robot kit for STEM education in Africa.

3DRacers is bringing Mario Kart to life


The next Hot Wheels? 3D print your own personalized cars and race them throughout the house.


Who could ever forget waking up on Christmas morning to find a remote-controlled race car set under the tree? Or, how about heading out to the local Toys”R”Us to grab yourself the latest Mario Kart game (or should we say ‘Kartridge’) to slip into your Super NES? Well now, Rome-based 3DRacers is seeking to revolutionize the toy and gaming industries with something that’s even more fun than a simple RC set or video game.

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In fact, the Maker duo of Marco D’Alia and Davide Marcoccio is ushering in a new generation of products, ones in which will allow users to 3D print their own smartphone-enabled, Arduino-compatible racing games. Think Mario Kart on your living room floor, instead of your TV screen. Rather than steer your way through Bowser’s Castle, Donut Plains and Mario Circuit tracks, kids can now navigate their way around in-house like rugs, tables, beds and even Uncle Bob’s legs as he snores on the couch. The 3D-printable cars were designed to have exceptional ground clearance from the bottom, which lets them to speed across these fabric and carpeted areas with ease.

With 3DRacers — which was successfully funded on Indiegogo — you can drive small radio-controlled, fully 3D-printed cars with your phone or with a custom-built remote (also 3D-printed). And, what truly sets this product apart from the pack is that each car can be customized to your liking. This opens up a wide-range of possibilities from Jeeps and Corvettes, to tanks and monster trucks, to dune buggies and rally cars, to even a Back to the Future-inspired DeLorean.

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While its first beta set was introduced back at Maker Faire Rome 2014, the Italian team has since launched a web-based editor where users can create a car online and 3D print it for free, or through 3DRacers’ official print partner 3DHubs. What makes it even sweeter, in the likelihood that a car is broken or lost at some point, a user can now simply make a new one. No more trips to the toy store! 

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Each 3DRacer is driven by a custom-built electronic board, based on an ATmega32U4. With a focus on low-power consumption and adhering to an extremely small form factor, the team’s Arduino-compatible board is making it possible for users put personal touches on the game, as well as design a new type of Bluetooth-enabled vehicle. The board, aptly named 3DRacers Pilot, can control up to two motors and three servos, and is equipped with an embedded RGB LED, a battery charger, a custom-made gate/position detector, and is even programmable through a simple USB link.

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“We choose the ’32U4 for the embedded USB, so that it could be programmed and upgraded easily without an external programmer,” a company rep tells us.

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But the online editor and free creation of cars is only the beginning for the team. In true Mario Kart-like fashion, 3DRacers comes with a companion app that allows users to compete against each other in battle mode with automatic lap counters and race times, pit stops with simulated tires and fuel consumption gauges, an online scoreboard, and of course, turbo lanes and power-ups. The app is compatible with all Bluetooth Smart mobile devices, including iPhone 4S or later, iPod 5th or later, iPad 3rd/Air/Mini or later, Samsung Galaxy S3, Note 2, Nexus 4 or later.

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Whether you’re looking to spark up some nostalgia, have a child that plays with Hot Wheels, or know of a friend that loves RC gadgetry, race on over to its official crowdfunding page here. Pending all goes to plan, delivery is set for this October.