Getting excited about learning is no easy feat, but sometimes we come across a toy that is so fun, kids don’t even realize they’re learning while playing. Circuit Scribe’s Drone Builder Kit combines all the best parts of science, art, and tech with an indoor and outdoor drone that teaches kids about electronics through DIY building.
The kit is made for ages 13 and up, so users will be old enough to understand the technology behind what they’re doing as they build the drone from the ground up. Kids under the age of 13 can also give it a try with adult supervision. The kit comes with a set of step-by-step instructions, AKA the drone builder blueprints, a Circuit Scribe conductive ink pen, four motors with optional guards, a drone hub, cardboard arms, and a battery charger. A mobile device (not included) is also needed to fly the drone and to access the live camera feed.
It only takes about 15 minutes to build the drone, thanks to one very special—and very awesome–PEN. You read that right: You are going to build this drone using a pen. The Circuit Scribe conductive silver ink pen lets kids draw working circuits onto the cardboard arms by filling in the indicated spaces with the silver ink. It’s a really hands-on way to take part in creating technology because teens are literally drawing on the circuits themselves. The pen is filled with non-toxic conductive silver, which is used to draw traces from the motors to the hub. Users can see how the drone comes to life in front of their eyes as they follow the steps, and the drawing aspect of it adds an arts and crafts factor that will satisfy that creativity craving.
After the rectangles are filled in with the special ink, kids connect the arms to the drone hub. There are pictures in the blueprints that are really easy to follow. The brain of the drone is now complete. Then, attach the motors to the arms with the clamps. Because the arms are made of cardboard, everything connects very easily by squeezing the cardboard in between the clamps. There’s a button on the bottom of the hub to turn on the drone.
After connecting the drone to Wi-Fi on a mobile device, the user’s smartphone will act as the controller. It’s not difficult to control, with one-touch takeoff and landing, and phone tilt control that can be turned on or off if people would prefer to use manual controls instead. The kit also comes with extra propellers in case older propellers become loose or fly off in a crash, and extra cardboard arms to color in if there are any “oops” moments while coloring in the conductive ink.
The live camera feed will be visible on the smart device as well, and users can take photos and record videos as they fly the drone they just built. The drone can be used indoors and outside, and it gives off a bird’s-eye view with the 480p on-board camera, which adds to the fun because users can get an inside look at what the drone is seeing as it flies. It has a 3-minute flight time, and a 150-foot communication range, so users can experiment with filming and get creative with in-flight videos and photos.
By building the drone from start to finish, teens can satisfy their curiosity and creativity, while having fun with technology. Circuit Scribe Drone Builder Kits are available for pre-order and will ship Nov. 15.