What if children could look around them and transform inanimate objects into moving toys, or turn their environment into a living playground? Well that’s exactly the challenge the founders of our exciting new partner Tio set themselves! Check out how they aim to inspire tomorrow’s inventors and engineers.
Two years ago, three creative entrepreneurs, Peter Spence, Mario Morello, and Ashley Wiltshire got together with a vision to inspire the next generation of creators with a new way of inventing, playing, and learning. Their mission: to spark invention and encourage creative play.
The result is Tio, an amazing kit that allows children to create app-controlled toys and inventions with everyday objects and materials like recycled and craft materials. The toys can be made out of literally anything, Lego, old toys, gadgets or even 3D prints. They will launch Tio next week and you can sign up here to be the first to know.
Co-founder Mario Morello explains: “Anyone of any age can explore the materials around them to inspire an infinite number of creations, from a flapping butterfly to a moving castle bridge and from a craft lighthouse to a rotating UFO. Tio is so quick to assemble and easy to use that even a three-year-old can play with it. Imagination is the only limit!”
You can see exactly what he means by checking out this video:
A free iOS and Android app communicates wirelessly with the creations to customise and program them. It controls many features like motor speed and direction as well as LED colours, rotation and patterns. With simple taps on the app, the programming mode allows creators to record and playback live actions including colour patterns and movements. Coding is possible (but not required) making the app, accessible to all.
Co-founder Peter Spence told us: “I’ve always loved making my own creations. As a kid I spent most of my time making with anything I could get my hands on, whether that be Lego, cereal boxes or old toys. I love the process of creation, exploring materials, testing ideas and seeing my imagination emerge into a tangible invention.
“This passion naturally evolved into the goal of transforming one of my ideas into a product to enable kids to imagine, create and reinvent with anything. I vividly remember building a wooden racing car with my grandpa and the urge to get it moving and racing like a real car. However, my main challenge was that the wheels only turned with a little help from gravity. This got me thinking… what if I was able to make anything move? What if there was a magical engine to do that?
“Fast forward 20 years and following an engineering degree, I set out to invent my dream toy to be enjoyed by kids of all ages.”
Mario added: “We have been on a rollercoaster journey since getting together. We want children to feel that they can create and become anything they want to. This is particularly important to us as we all had inspiring mentors who pushed us to pursue our ideas.”
Next week, as part of the partnership with Creatubbles, Tio will be encouraging children to share their ideas for inventions. Stay tuned to find out more, and make sure you have a Creatubbles account to take part!
You can also follow the Tio Team on:
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