At-home drone technology might be a 21st-century invention, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make one yourself with 20th-century toys.
Flybrix sells kits that let you turn LEGOs (along with some key electrical components) into a fully functioning drone. While not affiliated with the legendary toymaker itself, the Flybrix flying robots are compatible with all your old bricks and minifigs, so you can put your own distinctive spin on a design—over and over again after each spectacular crash. You can also add motors to create a quadcopter, hexacopter, or octocopter, depending on your aviation aspirations.
Introductory kits are available for $149, and include everything you need to build a craft: bricks, motors, boom-arms, propellers, a pre-programmed flightboard, cables, a battery, and, of course, a pilot. While the minifig can’t actually steer the craft himself, you can with your smartphone using the Flybrix app (available for iOS and Android), or you can spring for the $189 deluxe version, which comes with a controller.
Maybe the most exciting thing about Flybrix’s kits is that they’re endlessly customizable. If you’re someone who likes to look under the hood and tweak the mechanics, physical properties, or even the software of a product, the Flybrix code is all open-source, so you’re free to run wild in (technically unsanctioned) LEGO Mania. Just like when you were a kid.
Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.