A San Francisco start-up has launched the Flybrix kit for constructing a crash-friendly, re-buildable unmanned aircraft system (UAS) made of Lego bricks. According to Flybrix, the product gives kids the chance to build their own drones while learning the essentials of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through play.
Flybrix – which calls the drone a love-child of Lego and today’s advanced drone technology – says the aircraft takes 15 minutes or less to build and includes all materials needed for construction: assorted Lego bricks; eight custom boom-arm motors and propellers; a pre-programmed, open-source flight control circuit board; an instruction manual and Flybrix configuration software; a Legos minifigure pilot; and accessories such as batteries, connectors, USB cords and a prop wrench.
A Bluetooth flight control app is available for download on the App Store or Google Play store; alternatively, Flybrix offers a remote controller.
The company notes that the kit comes with quadcopter, hexacopter and octocopter airframes.In addition, Flybrix provides 10 ready-to-play games, such as Battle Bricks: a game designed to allow users to practice controlled flying and strategic building.
Flybrix was founded in 2015 by MIT, Caltech and UW Madison alums. The company says it completed beta testing during the first part of this year and launched the drone without crowdfunding.
Flybrix is available to purchase at special launch prices, $149 (basic kit) and $189 (deluxe kit) at flybrix.com. After the introductory price, Flybrix will be available for $189 for the basic kit and $249 for the deluxe kit.
“Flying toy drones is fun, but when you can use your imagination and make your own drone from Lego bricks and fly it, that’s an amazing thrill,” says Holly Kasun, Flybrix’s chief play officer. “We embrace the trial-and-error process for learning because that’s where the ‘a-ha’ breakthroughs happen. The experience of building, flying, crashing and rebuilding as a creative way for parents, kids and teachers to harness the power of play to learn tech and engineering – that’s our goal.”