Education and innovation may be the building blocks of success, but Brixo has designed the building blocks of our future — literally. Combining one of our most beloved childhood toys with the ingenuity of the 21st century, Brixo has created a series of electric bricks that are described as “Lego™ on steroids, if steroids also gave you superpowers and taught you new languages.” These electricity-conducting building blocks are smartphone connected, allowing children to create circuits and better understand one of the most important scientific innovations in history. And now, Brixo has partnered with Young Engineers, a company that provides STEM education programs for children, to bring these electric blocks to four million students in 27 countries, mostly in Africa, within the next five years.
“It is well known that STEM and specifically electricity is not the most popular subject for kids these days (computers are much more attractive),” co-founder Boaz Almog told Digital Trends via email. “Brixo was designed as an entertaining approach to attract children to explore electricity by having fun while playing with LEGO™ bricks.” But Brixo opens a new world of possibilities and intrigue to children (and adults) of all ages. Their bricks are triggered by sound, light, touch and just about everything in the Internet of Things. For example, you can build a Brixo pyramid that shuts off a phone’s alarm clock, or create a pet food dispenser to reward your kitten for good behavior.
More impressive still, the Brixo team notes, you can even build structures with these chrome-coated blocks to replace high end automated IoT processes, including setting your Nest profiles or activating smart home accessories.
And as cool as the potential of Brixo bricks may be, it’s the educational component that is most compelling to Almog. “Brixo is all about visualization and physical building,” he told us. “You need to form a current path from bricks which immediate gives you an understanding of how the current is flowing into the different elements. Concepts like connection in parallel or series become immediately clear. Furthermore, with BRIXO it is super easy to explain basic electric concepts such as the difference between current and voltage.” This ease of use also adds to Brixo’s accessibility, Almog says, and ultimately, the team’s goal is to “make Brixo a standard like LEGO™.” Consequently, he notes, “Brixo basic kits are easily affordable and priced similar to basic LEGO™ (and competitors) kits.”
Brixo’s Kickstarter campaign has already raised nearly $400,000 (far surpassing its goal of $50,000) from over 3,300 backers as of this writing, and still has 17 days to go. Its broad appeal may also help bring more women into STEM fields, or at least, Almog hopes this will be the case. “We believe that STEM is the key to equal opportunities,” he said. “The freedom that BRIXO gives its users makes it equally appealing to male and female users. From models that are traditionally more gender oriented such as cars and doll houses to basic circuits, Brixo lets everyone become a (crazy) scientist for one day.”