Thumbles are small robots that drive around on a tabletop surface under computer control to create a new type of user interface. Users interact by grasping and moving the Thumbles around, and the computer can respond by moving them as well. The result is an interface that constantly rearranges itself based on the user’s needs.
Thumbles combine the versatility of a graphical user interface with the tactile advantages of interacting with physical objects. The robots rearrange themselves on the table based on what the user wants to do. For example, the Thumbles can represent characters in a video game, or molecules in a chemistry simulation.
Beyond gaming and data visualization, applications include video editing, command and control and logistics. There are a great deal of real-world problems that computers are not good at solving alone and people likewise have trouble solving, but people and computers working together using the right tools can solve very well. We believe that Thumbles are particularly well suited for these problems, particularly when teams of people must work together to develop a solution….
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.