Meet the Inventor

Travis Lin



Meet Travis Lin, Chapter leader of Taipei and the BitOlympics Grand BitOlympian! Travis’s Ai Daiwan project he built with his Chapter members is equally as impressive.

Ai Dai Wan – Exhalation Game #BitOlympics from Huang Shu Ting on Vimeo.

In order to row a boat fast and steady one would need precise movements, and coherent respiration. With that in mind, he designed a small game to test not only one’s lung capacity but also other criteria such as the intensity and stability of ones exhalation where the players find out during the game. We sat down with him to find out more about his story.

I am based Taipei, the biggest city in Taiwan. We have lots of delicacies and beautiful landscape on this island. You could reach both the beach and mountain in one hour. I wish everyone in the littleBits community could visit.

How would you describe yourself in an Ernest Hemingway-style novel? (6 words or less)

“THE INTERN … of Makers”

What was your littleBits “a-ha!” moment? The moment you were bitten by the littleBits bug.

My friends gave me littleBits as a gift and I was surprised by its simplicity and flexibility. The design of magnetic connection eliminates soldering and provides friendly interface for almost everyone in anywhere. What’s more, the modular design also give the advantage to iterate design ideas efficiently. This could keep your motivation going on and without influence by circuitry detail.

When starting a littleBits project, what does your design process look like?

The first thing is to write down the idea and draw a draft. Then I review the idea again thoroughly and list down possible issues I may encounter. At this stage, I usually apply “divide and conquer” strategy to see if I could have the design divided into different parts and solve one by one. For example, in one invention I created, I need to have the DC motor in the leg, a control circuit within the body and a control circuit in hand. Accordingly, I divided the design into serval subsystems and did it one by one. Once I started the work, I encountered more detailed obstacles which was not thought of in the original design phase. Such obstacles can trigger series of impact to other subsystems, so during the work in progress, I would need to review the design and the coherence among subsystems. Overall, I always bear “System Thinking” and “Design Thinking” methodologies in mind in design process.

How has littleBits impacted you creatively?

The module design of the littleBits parts enables my imagination to fly. If I run into any difficulty, I can switch my circuit design easily. What’s more exciting for me is to see littleBits continue enhancing the functionality of the modules, which is absolutely a catalyst for creativity.

What do you plan on inventing next?

Taiwan has a fascinating night market culture, where you can find not just food stands, but also various interesting game stands.  My aspiration is to use littleBits and cardboard to recreate the looks and functionalities of these gaming facilities.

More From Our Community

Bridget McGraw

Usually I think with my hands, so the design process is “on the fly.”

Ashley Elsdon

Ashley Elsdon, a producer at the SoundLab in the UK, helps people with learning disabilities create music.

Richard, Carson, and Cole

littleBits has given me the ability to think about and actually create devices that, through normal channels, would be out of reac...

MJ Caselden

MJ Caseldon of Caseldon Studios in New York designs interactive sound sculptures.