Making Your Own Programmable Hardware Devices Just Got A Little Easier

Build your own DIY Etch A Sketch and whole lot more with the latest update to littleBits, which let you put together electronics even if you don’t know an amp from a volt.


LittleBits, a Lego-like series of modules that allows anyone to build electronic devices, has been getting increasingly sophisticated since its launch in 2008. This month, the company announced that it’s getting what may be its most complex module yet: the Arduino at Heart, which allows lets users incorporate the popular open-source electronics platform into everything they create with littlebits.


“This is our first programmable bit. It’s the first bit that takes care of the hardware and makes it easy to get started. You can be a novice or professional programmer,” explains littleBits Founder and CEO Ayah Bdeir.

She writes in a blog post:

With the littleBits Arduino at Heart module, we removed the problems of hardware, so users can focus onthe code. For example, instead of having to solder together a circuit of power, ground, resistors and LEDs, a user can simply snap a littleBits power and LED module to the Arduino module and dive straight into programming. This will make hardware innovation even more friendly for beginners, and lets littleBits become programmable.

LittleBits is offering a series of sample projects, including a DIY Etch A Sketch, which you can see in this video:

The Arduino at Heart module is part of littleBits’ newfound focus on what Bdeir calls “power”–in this case, giving people the ability to create items with littleBits that are more than fun playthings. “The possibilities are limitless,” she says.

The Arduino at Heart module costs $36; a bundle containing nine modules (including the Arduino model) costs $89.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more