If there’s one thing Iron Man’s Tony Stark and Black Panther’s Shuri confirmed, it’s that you don’t need to take a bath in gamma rays or be gifted a power ring to be a superhero. You can just be smart and have a passion for STEM. Well, it makes sense then that Stark and Shuri are two of the guiding voices for The Avengers Hero Inventor Kit from littleBits, a new coding toy done in partnership with Disney/Marvel, that allows kids to learn coding skills while assembling a wearable piece of tech that seems straight out of Stark Industries.
As with all toys from littleBits, makers of last year’s fantastic R2 D2 coding kit, the Avenger Hero Inventor Kit centers around a number of “bits” — electronic components that kids assemble and write programs for. This includes an accelerometer, button, low energy Bluetooth chip, light sensor, power button, speaker, and LED matrix. Kids connect and assemble those pieces onto a wearable gauntlet ala Iron Man’s cuff.
A specialized app, Avengers Hero Inventor, connects a smartphone or tablet to the Bluetooth chip. From within the app, kids can control the components and activate the sensors. The app also includes lessons in which different members of the Marvel universe teach the ins and outs of the individual components.
Tony Stark, for instance, guides them through the different capabilities of the LED matrix, which can display different colors and patterns of light. Ant-Man and Wasp take them through a lesson on the accelerometer. Black Widow shows them how to use the light sensor. And the real fun begins when Black Panther and Shuri, the Wakandan tech wunderkind, show kids how to combine everything they’ve learned to create programs of their own.
The Avengers Hero Inventor Kit seems like a real blast and continues a nice trend of major brands teaming with tech toys to inspire a new generation of coders (Looking at you Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit.) It’s nice to see. And when the world needs heroes, these kids can answer the call. The kit will be available August 24th for $150 but you can pre-order it now.