It will be Christmas soon. The time has come to think about what you can give your favorite engineer, your loved one or yourself. We have a few recommendations.
Technology fans often regard things through an “electronic” lens – and gifts are no exception. This is reflected in our recommendations below.
Programmable all-terrain drone
Airblock, made by Makeblock, is proof that drones can do more than just fly. Its modular design allows you to transform it from a drone to a hovercraft to a speedboat and back to a drone. What’s more, you can use a smartphone to operate it. Airblock is powered by six motors and a control unit with magnetic plug-in connections. Owners can use an app to drag-and-drop program each type of vehicle. This approach allows young programmers to have fun while learning some basics of software development.
A clever robot for clever kids
Wonder Workshop’s Dash helps children between six and eleven years of age learn the ABCs of programming while having fun. This robotic buddy can do so much, it seems alive: Dash reacts to voices, moves around obstacles, dances, sings and more. This robot can also play back sound files that it has recorded. Last but not least, kids can use free, age-appropriate apps to program and control Dash.
Modal Electronics, a respected manufacturer of high-end polyphonic synthesizers, is putting music under the Christmas tree. The company makes a small and monophonic DIY instrument that offers impressive sound – after less than ten minutes of assembly! You can operate the CRAFTsynth using eight potentiometers, a push button and five touch-sensitive buttons. The rear of the synthesizer features an output for audio and headphones as well as a USB port for MIDI, computer connection and power supply. Equipped with two oscillators, the CRAFTsynth generates sine, triangular, sawtooth and square waves with pulse-width modulation. Thanks to its rich sound, this DIY instrument easily matches the quality of much more expensive competitors.
Boost for the whole family
LEGO Boost is designed for children between the ages of seven and twelve – but adult fans of LEGO, or AFOLs (Adult Fan of Lego), will also surely have fun with this programmable robotic set, which consists of 840 colorful bricks for building a robot, a multi-purpose rover, Frankie The Cat, a factory, or a guitar with distance, color and tilt sensors. You can program and control all these models by means of Bluetooth and an Apple iPad or Android tablet. All in all, LEGO Boost makes it easy for young techies to learn the basics of programming, machine building and robotics.
I hope you found a suitable gift. And, by all means: we wish you a Merry Christmas!