Piper Lets Kids Design Circuits Using Minecraft And Electricity

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There is a disease destroying our young people. It is silent, malignant, and fatal. It is called Minecraft and something must be done. If you have children of a certain age chances are they have made a giant Pikachu out of yellow blocks or put up a signpost that says “Poop Here” next to a chicken pen. It is truly terrible.

But there is hope. With Piper, we can turn Minecraft into something more exciting. The kit lets kids create circuits in real life and then see how they interact in Minecraft. It lets you, for example, add a battery and a button to a breadboard and see those parts pop up on the screen. Electricity flowing through virtual wires simulates what is happening in real life. In short, what you make on screen happens in real life and vice versa – sort of. Watch the video to really understand it.

Mark Pavlyukovskyy and his partners created the project as a way to help kids learn electronics and they even got a plug from Steve Wozniak who said “I love Piper because it represents what enabled me to do all the great technology things in my life.” It is, in short, a popular project that looks like it could change the way our kids think about electronics.

The team has sold 1,500 units through Kickstarter and raised $50,000 from Co.lab. They are looking for more seed funding to expand the idea.

The kit includes a Raspberry Pi 2 and a laser cut case as well as wires, buttons, lights, switches, sensors, tiny breadboards, and everything else you need to start building right away!” In other words, it’s great fun and really useful. The kit costs $199 with a Raspberry Pi 2.

While many kids will remain enslaved by the evils of Minecraft if only one escapes and makes a little robot that buzzes and spits out pieces of paper that say “Poop Here,” I think we’ll be in good shape.