The heart and brain of TinkerBots is the red cube Power Brain, which contains the battery, Bluetooth 4.0, a speaker, an Arduino microcontroller, serial bus interface, USB charging port, a gyro and ACC sensors, and the button interface.
There are other cubes, including a motor, a pivot, a twister, a grabber, IR sensor, light sensor, wheels, and more, and there are plenty of “passive” building cubes, as well. You can also augment your creations with actual Lego bricks, which is a delightful treat for any adult--er, child.
TinkerBots require no wiring or special programming, and--this is a very cool feature--you can use the integrated record and play functions to “teach” your creations what to do. Just hit “record” on the red cube, move the robot creation to and fro, and then when you hit “play” it will repeat those motions. For more advanced use, you can whip out the TinkerBots mobile app to control things, too.
The team has already developed several sets you can build, and they range in price from $159 to $499. They’re raising $100,000 on Indiegogo, and with 45 days yet to go, they’ve secured over $56,000 in funds.