Airblock is first modular and programmable drone that can be turned into a hovercraft and car and does stunts through drag-and-drop programming. In the past, Makeblock made the mBot and the mBot Ranger which are two well-known programmable robots for kids.
With Airblock, Makeblock has incorporated the great ability of flight with basic engineering and coding. The Airblock is fun to play with, and getting to see the flight in a whole new way is a really cool thing.
The Objective of Airblock
The whole idea behind making a product like Airblock was to create a flying toy that children can make on their own. Makeblock wanted to create a drone a drone that kids can build on their own and crash without having to worry about damaging the surroundings or breaking easily. Makeblock made a programming drone because programming is not just useful for future programmers but it also plays a vital role in the child’s learning phase. They aim to attribute to a child’s development and stimulate children to think independently and solve problems creatively.
Airblock is made of lightweight, engineered foam that is soft, firm and durable. The fans/blades are surrounded by hexagons, so they are not directly opposed to objects. It is safe to fly around and for you to safely fly everywhere. Airblock is made of magnetic, modular parts that are easy to assemble and disassemble without the need for tools. It has two main modes: hexacopter drone and hovercraft, but you can create even more modes if you like, thanks to its modularity.
Programmable and Indoor-friendly
- Modular: The Airblock drone is modular, so you can easily interchange and connect modular pieces together. There are different modes you can create by connecting the modular pieces together like Drone Mode, Hovercraft Mode, Triangle Mode, and Spider Mode.
- Programmable: This drone is programmable, that means you can control it on your iPad and do cool aerial stunts.
- DIY: Makeblock says the Airblock drone is limited only by your imagination. Using modularity of the blocks and the magnetic attachments on them, you can create different forms that you like.
- Versus Mode: The Versus Mode allows you to race or battle against other Airblock drones.
- Controllable: It is easy to navigate and control and you can do that right from your smart device.
- Indoor-friendly: The Airblock drone is indoor-friendly, which means you can fly the drone without worrying about damaging the surrounding like the walls, furniture etc or breaking it easily.
Programming with Airblock
- Programming with Airblock is very easy. Imagine a cool stunt and have it become a reality with the Makeblock app. Simply drag-and-drop different blocks of commands- like forward, pause, turn, and forward- and connect them to create an action.
- On the app, read the value of three-axis gyroscope.
- Select the direction and the degree to control the aircraft to rotate.
- Control aircraft to move.
- Obtain ultrasonic value.
- Control hovercraft to rotate and move.
- Set LED color.
- Set aircraft’s rotation angle.
- There will be an interface for a simple numeric input using which you can type the digits.
You can also combine Airblock with other toys or parts and create things like cars and streamers. You can also race against other Airblocks in different modes or even have an air battle. You can get this modular and programmable drone just for $99 from Kickstarter, which is probably the best part about it.
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and android game development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.