The littleBits Invention Cycle — In Action!
Inspired by all the far-out things happening in space lately (weird rocks found on Mars, the blue moon, etc.), I recently created a new invention and uploaded it to the littleBits Project Page: a UFO.
After completing the project myself, I can attest that, while this hovercraft may look “easy” because it’s composed of common household items and only five Bits, it still requires some trial and error to make it soar. The process of creating, tinkering, failing a few times, and trying again is identified as The littleBits Invention Cycle. As new (or even experienced) inventors, you can sometimes fall into the trap of saying “that’s too hard,” or “I could never create something like that.” But it’s important to remember that everyone goes through this process of trial and error. If you’re feeling stuck, The littleBits Invention Cycle can get you through tough times. Here’s how I went through the cycle creating my UFO:
Before creating my UFO, I had to design it. To get started, I took a piece of paper, jotted down how I wanted it to look physically (colors, etc.), and listed the Bits I needed to realize my ideal creation. Next, I brought my ideas to life by gathering materials and, of course, Bits.
My first UFO didn’t hold up as I hoped it would, so I trashed it. I discovered through my failure that the base of the hovercraft needed to be composed of sturdier material because the batteries are heavy. On my second try, I discovered that a paper plate has the perfect shape, size and durability for my invention. Attempt #2 was successful.
When my craft was finished, I realized that it needed a space where it could blast off. So I took a piece of purple felt and a couple sheets of yellow construction paper, and I made a backdrop for my Martian. Then I turned out the lights and turned the Bits on, and my UFO looked like it was in a galaxy far, far away…
Everything about my invention was awesome, but something was missing. My UFO didn’t totally sound like a UFO. So, I mixed it up and created a noise circuit to incorporate some extraterrestrial noise.