News of the Bitosphere! April 4, 2016

Science Fair Win, Telepresence Robot, Prosthetic Arm, #HackYourHabits and MORE!

April 4, 2016
Soweto 2 meg

Hello from Soweto, South Africa!

“The Rosa Parks Library Innovation Studio is an exciting new project designed to put valuable skills in the hands of young South Africans in Soweto – skills that can help them to build a brighter future for themselves and the community.”

Community Hall of Fame

Telly the Telepresence Robot comes to us from Joey Wilson for #InventForGood.  Joey can control this two-wheeled robot over Skype, Google Hangout, or any VoIP client.  But how, you ask?  Telly listens to a series of tones played to it from the cell phone through a custom module Joey invented with Michael Schippling.  Let’s watch it work!

Bitster Wins State Science Fair!

infrared car detector by Jake (swimpedo)  “For this project I used littleBits to tell me when a car is coming around the blind corner near my house.  It uses the wireless transmitter and receiver bits, the motion trigger bit, an LED bit, and two power bits.  When a car passes the motion sensor, it transmits a signal to the LED and turns it on.”  Pretty cool way to improve pedestrian safety, huh?

Jake Science Fair trophy 2MEG

Jake won his regional Science Fair with this #InventForGood entry, but that’s not allll…  Says Jake, “This past Sunday at the NC State Science and engineering fair in Raleigh NC I won first place in my category, optics and phonetics special award for SPIE, and I am in the running to go to Washington DC for the Brodcom MASTERS science fair.”  WOW, Jake! We’re proud of you for all your hard work!  Keep inventing!  🙂

#HackYourHabits is LIVE!


Spring cleaning. Earth Day. Quantified self(ies). What do they all have in common? Inspiration for our April monthly challenge: #HackYourHabits!  We want you to choose ONE thing you do daily (or almost daily) and invent a way to track or change your habit. Bring on your best behavior changer.  Did we mention you could win Bits?  Learn More.

It’s Show & Tell Time!

When: Tuesday, April 5 at 7pm EST
Where: The Unhangout Room

All Bitsters and ideas are welcome!  Bring your friends & family – we’d love to meet them! Bring your inventions, too – we’ll take turns demonstrating and asking each other questions!

Invention Page Love

Let’s check out some sweet new inventions…

Prosthetic arm #INVENTFORGOOD, posted by Diego Thuler on behalf of João from Americana, Brazil.  “This amazing prosthetic arm open and closes the hand. All 4 fingers and opposable thumb allows to grab all stuff. João shows up how it works and simulates himself amputee.”

Automatic Door Opener lets our dog in/out while we’re away by Tom Parsons does exactly what the title claims.  Visit the invention link to watch videos that demonstrate and explain this circuit!

automatic pet door

“I created an automatic door opener that I control remotely by using my cellphone to signal the littleBits cloudbit.  When the cloudbit is activated, an MP3 recording calls our dog, then a 12 VDC motor turns a ball screw to push open the storm door.  After a 20 second pause, the door closes and the system shuts off.  This is all monitored using a web-cam to verify that the dog went in or out.  I’ve used it several times while I’m away at work, and it really works.”

Columbia Thinks Big

Columbia Thinks Big

Bogota, Colombia Chapter Leader, Felipe Moreno posted about their design challenge event; “We joined the #inventforgood campaign that promotes the development of young talents that reflect their ideas for the good of their communities. Many of them created in less than half an hour: windmills that provide electricity to homes, automatic sprinkler systems, electronic wheelchairs, cleaning shoes, rescue helicopters and many other prototypes that made them dream big. LittleBits helps young people to understand the potential of technology to create any kind of solutions.”  Read More from Felipe

You’re In the News, Bitster!

Our very own Suzanne (from HQ) led a workshop with 48 young people and 7 amazing facilitators around #InventForGood, and the event was picked up by local news!


Says Suzanne, “They developed some amazing projects, including a collaboration that helped people take their medicine. They developed a medication dispenser on wheels with an alarm that was motion activated and a balloon that would fly it up to people who could not bend down.   We did not have helium – we used our imaginations. The balloon was attached with pipe-cleaners :)”  WOOT!  Great Job, Suzanne!

If you get in the news for being Bitsy, post it on the forum under “You’re In the News, Bitster!” 🙂

Share Your Events!

We LOVE to hear about events you’ve hosted.  Share photos and stories on social media with #littleBits and relevant hashtags like #HackYourHabits, and post them on the forum under Events or Global Chapters.


Later, Bitsters!  Have a super duper week!  🙂