One of the best ways to teach kids about how electronics work is through the use of toys and Plick, robotic building blocks for kids aims to make it as fun and as easy as possible. Plick is an interactive building toy that can be used to create a functional robot, depending on how the parts are connected. Depending on how you attach a Plick piece to an adjoining piece, you can affect the behavior of the whole creation. Here is an explanation from the official website on how it works:
To put an engine for work, you connect it to the battery. Once connected, it starts spinning. (There is a button to change the direction of the spin). To the same battery, a sensor (lets say, a light sensor) can be attached. When the light sensor is attached to the engine, the engine stop working, and will only spin in the moment the sensor detects light. There are a range of different sensors, such as sound sensor, distance sensor, and many other that can be built. Instead of an engine, many other actuators could be attached to the sensors, such as speakers, lamps and others.
Plick allows complex behaviours and programming to emerge from very simple connections of its different units. And its design allows it to be attached to different objects, to give them the desired actions and interactivity.
As you can tell, just experimenting with all sorts of different combinations can lead to hours of fun with these robot building blocks. No word on pricing or if these toys will even hit retail outlets, but they would sure be an interesting toy for kids to get their hands on. Find out more about Plick or watch the demonstration video: