Piper: What Will You Create?
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SEE HOW YOU CAN TURN SCREEN-TIME INTO BUILD-TIME!
Nuts about Minecraft? Use it to teach engineering!
- Play an an awesome series of adventure maps in Minecraft -
- Build a controller to navigate your robot in the game -
- Assemble your own electronics to solve in game puzzles and challenges -
- Add switches to uncover secrets -
- Make an LED light proximity sensor for finding treasure -
- Use a buzzer to help you navigate dangerous terrain-
- Add motion detectors when traversing underwater levels -
- Switch on an LED flashlight to see at night -
- Build and customize your own beautifully engraved box -
- Decorate your Raspberry Pi 2 with a beautiful laser-etched acrylic stand -
- Create your own custom levels and modifications to share with your friends -
Designed for the Young and Young at Heart
We’ve spent over a year building and testing Piper to make it simple enough for anyone aged 5 to 105! Regardless of your experience with Minecraft or physical engineering, we've created something that you can pick up and start playing right away!
It's based on 3 principles:
- Involves physical, hands-on building
- Easy for anyone to get started (doesn’t require an instruction manual**)
- Piper is as fun to play as other mobile or social games
What are people saying about Piper?
- Laser cut and custom designed plywood case with an inbuilt 7'' LCD Display -
- The newest and fastest Raspberry Pi 2 with an acrylic stand -
- A powerbank that will power the screen and the Raspberry Pi for 5 hours of continuous game play -
- A compact USB mouse -
- An 8GB Micro-SD card that holds your game progress and creations safe -
- All the Electronics you need to start building (wires, buttons, lights, switches, breadboards, and more!) -
- It even comes with a Piper Screwdriver! -
We believe that when you use electronics straight out of the box, you don't really own it or understand it. Somebody else made it for you to consume, so we wanted Piper to be different. You first get to make and assemble the box, and connect the components (Raspberry Pi 2, Powerbank, LCD display) in order to start playing. By building it yourself, you make it your own. You decorate, color, and arrange the pieces however you want. You learn how to make a fully working computer and then you think: "What else could I make with this?"
You are empowered to create.
How Does It All Work?
Now for the fun part. Once you turn on the powerbank, and boot up the Pi, you realize that you are sitting at mission control in a modified Minecraft world. You are sending a robot to an unknown planet and on the way over his hardware is damaged. Now it's your job to build his hardware in real-life, to control him on the screen. You first build his controller to navigate. The schematic on the screen shows you how to build and gives you realtime feedback as you add your buttons and wires correctly.
From there, it's up to you what you do. Want to mine resources hidden in the lava lake? Build a switch to turn on a hidden bridge to take you there!
Searching for diamonds in the dark? Add a row of LED lights that serve as a proximity sensor. The closer to the diamond you get, the more lights light up!
With Piper we have already created more than 10 different hardware projects that you can build and create. Each one can give you power-ups, but the real question is: Can you beat the levels?
Replacing Screen-time with Build-time
Today kids grow up surrounded by technology and they play and consume it with ease. But most don’t know how to create with it. We think that by restricting kids to closed, black-box devices like tablets and phones, we deny them an opportunity to tinker and explore and develop their creativity.
We wanted to show kids that they can create real things and give them a fun way to do it. Not just consume apps or share photos, but build real things in real life that actually mattered to them. And the best way to do this, was to harness their love of Minecraft.
Any power-up you ever dreamt of having in the game, you can make by adding your own custom hardware. Finding diamonds in Minecraft is such a pain, but by building your own LED proximity sensor, the task becomes a lot simpler.
By the end of the process, the kids we worked with became a lot more confident about themselves as creators and builders. It doesn't take a lot to inspire a child to believe in herself. And we want Piper to be the first step. To give today's kids a relevant and fun way to become the inventors of tomorrow.
Iterate, Iterate, Iterate, Iterate, Iterate….
Engineering and building electronics aren't simple. But once you master them, you can make anything! So we had to make sure that Piper was easy to play, but still let you build real things. "Low floor, high ceiling, wide walls." The attributes MIT's Mitchel Resnick described as crucial for a learning platform to have.
So we tested with hundreds of kids, in dozens of schools all around the world to make sure that Piper was simple enough to play for anyone, but still allowed them to create complex gadgets. Every single aspect of our game has been tested and re-tested and we know that you will love it.
Check out some of the many, many iterations we've gone through to make Piper the awesome toolbox it is now!