A pair of North Carolina-based entrepreneurs believes they have the building blocks, literally, for a new breed of robots.
Blocklets, a line of interlocking sculptural blocks, are individually laser-cut wood or acrylic pieces that artist Mark Plaga and engineer Gabe Cantor say can be used to make anything from bots to furniture to Arduino trebuchets. Combining the individual pieces to make a Blocklet (a unit), builders need only to unblock their imaginations and see what tumbles out.
At the first "Minecraft Blocklet Party," for example, creative types inspired by the digital block-based game Minecraft spelled out the word "Minecraft" in 5-inch-tall Blocklet letters and crafted a variety of miniature robo-guys and amorphous blocky blobs.
Blocket's mascot "Minecraft Blocky," a two-legged robo-man, is one of the founders' prized creations. He is photographed on their Blocklets Web site doing headstands, waving, bending over, and reaching out for what appears to be a hug.
Plaga and Cantor also hope to eventually turn their design into an educational tool, making Blocklets available in the classroom for science students and others.
Blocklets is now seeking funding on Kickstarter and Plaga and Cantor plan to auction off Blocklet-based sculptures at the Maker Faire in Raleigh, N.C., in June.