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Make Your Own Scribble Bot: Circuit Cubes Smart Art Review

Make Your Own Scribble Bot: Circuit Cubes Smart Art Review

What do you get if you mix markers, circuits, wires and Lego? Creative circuit building fun!

Smart Art is a Circuit Cubes kit designed to get kids interested and started in STEM. There are three kits to collect – Whacky Wheels, Bright Lights and Smart Art. Each pack has various projects you can make, with three basic components – a battery, an LED light and a motor. You can get creative with your projects with the addition of Lego, and even add on different cubes. It’s a similar idea to littlebits, but on a smaller scale.

When I was a child, I remember making spirograph designs with a toy. There was some sort of electrical magic that made the markers move around in a circle and it make really cool designs. I was mesmerized.

The cool thing about Smart Art, is that now I can see what the magic is and teach my child how it actually works. Inside all toys that move and make sounds is some sort of circuit board and learning about how they work, is something you’ll never forget. Designed by Tenka Labs, Circuit Cubes are aimed at kids over 8 years old.

Pros

  • Small projects that start kids learning about circuits and robots.
  • Fun to watch the scribble bot drawing.
  • Compatible with Lego, familiar to kids
  • Beautifully designed, well-made product.

Cons

  • Could be more educational content about circuits and how wires connect to the cubes.

 

Unboxing Smart Art

The circuit kit comes with a handy little bag to store all the items. There’s isn’t much stuff once everything is unpacked. You get three circuit cubes, markers, a couple of wires and a few Lego compatible pieces. There is a large piece of paper that comes in the box to get you started. I thought this was a nice touch, as my first thought was ‘I only have A4 paper, I’m going to need something bigger’.

What You Get In The Box

  • Packet of Markers
  • 3 Circuit Cubes – Motor Cube, Battery Cube, LED Cube.
  • Rubber Bands
  • Wires
  • Various Lego compatible pieces
  • Wheel
  • A large piece of paper

How it Works

The first thing you need to do is charge the blue battery circuit cube. When I opened the box and was all set to go, we had to wait a while for the green light to come on. So when planning out this activity with kids, charge it first.

There is a great instruction booklet with the kit, with simple easy to follow designs. Aside from the scribble bots, you can build a rotating mobile, or whatever you can think of making with a few markers, a battery, a wheel and a bright LED light. The light on the LED cube is actually really bright, it could be used as a torch.

The cubes are magnetic and fit together like lego and there are wires to join them as well. You can also get a bag of bricks and gears and other Circuit Cubes for making more inventions. Separately you can add a knife switch, a tilt switch, a Potentiometer Cube (dimmer switch) and a NO/NC Switch.

The fact there was only three cubes and simple projects appealed to me. You can start small and when you’re comfortable move on to other projects.

Circuit Cubes

Putting together the first scribble bot was quite quick. I experimented a bit positioning the markers and moving them around to make different sized circles. With a little planning, you could design something very nice, there are lots of potential art projects to make with just three cubes.

Overall Verdict

The only thing missing was more educational content in the booklet about how the circuits worked. The illustrations are lovely but it’s too easy to miss the actual circuit learning part. Overall it’s a great introduction to circuits and it helps children experiment with tech and robotics. Circuit Cubes seamlessly integrates with Lego, which is a huge bonus. It’s a nice way of giving the Lego you have at home another dimension by adding lights and moving parts.

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