Project Bloks

Project Bloks is a research project that aims to create an open hardware platform to help developers, designers, and researchers build the next generation of tangible programming experiences for kids.

We’ve created three key hardware elements: Base Boards, the Brain Board, and Pucks. Together, these elements form a reconfigurable system for controlling hardware devices like robots, toys, or IoT devices. They can also be used to control applications on a computer or tablet.

The boards can be covered with any material or form you like and arranged in different ways, to create very different experiences. Here are some ideas for what you could create using the system, prototyped in paper:

We worked with IDEO to create a reference device, called the Coding Kit. It teaches kids the basic concepts of code by allowing them to put code bricks together to create a set of instructions that can be sent to control connected toys and devices. Watch this film to find out more:

Pucks are easy to create, for example by cutting paper, or 3D printing the form and then drawing the capacitive signature with conductive ink. This enables an infinite number of commands to be easily made on the fly by anyone.

Project Bloks is still in active research. To further inform the development of the project, we’ll be conducting more research over the course of the summer into the opportunities for tangible programming and the Bloks platform.

 

Creative agency:
Google Creative Lab London

Creatives (alphabetical):
Graeme Hall
Hana Tanimura
Jayme Goldstein
João Wilbert
Justin Li
Zebedee Pedersen

Design and art direction:
Hana Tanimura

Design support (alphabetical):
Mary Leonard
Sofía Clausse

Film and animation (alphabetical):
Across the Pond
Doug Hindson
Justin Li
Max McCabe
Nearly Normal
Th1ng

Producers (alphabetical):
Alex de Castro
Lou Trethewey
Natalie Goburdhun

Website build:
Potato
Sam Honigstein

Photography:
Robert Couto

Project partners (alphabetical):
 IDEO
Paulo Blikstein (Stanford)
Research at Google