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£55,875 pledged of £50,000 goal
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By Tio
£55,875 pledged of £50,000 goal
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About this project

Tio is a robotic building block for girls and boys to make their own moving tech toys. It’s super creative, fun and a powerful technology for learning. We need your help to make it happen!

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How Tio works

Tio is made up of 4 elements: the blocks, the app, the accessories, and the mounts.

1. The blocks are wireless motors with built-in LED rings and rechargeable batteries.

2. The app controls and programs the blocks via bluetooth. It can control many blocks at once!

3. The accessories include wheels, pulleys and adapters. These snap to the blocks with magnets. They spin when the block’s motor turns!

4. The mounts snap to the blocks with magnets. They make it possible to stick the blocks to anything!

Robotics made simple  

Children use Tio to build and program their first moving toys using the friendly magnetic blocks and playful app.

For girls and boys ages 5 and up  

No matter their age, ability or what language they speak, children can play and learn with Tio. No wires and no tools needed. It's simple and safe. 

Reinvent toys, make robots, animate gadgets & program 3D prints  

Tio combines robotic tech with creative play. Over 200 children, parents and educators have already made moving toys and robots with Tio. 

  • Drive and race around obstacles (e.g. vehicles and machines) 
  • Rotate and flash coded messages (e.g. UFOs and merry-go-rounds)
  • Lift and carry objects (e.g. toy cranes and robots) 
  • Flap wings and twirl (e.g. butterflies and creatures)

Does Tio work?

We have hand built and play tested 5 generations of prototypes. This is what some experts think of Tio…

Dr Andrew Manches, Learning Scientist: "Tio clearly demonstrates the power of combining digital technology with hands-on creative play. With a supportive adult, the possibilities for inspiring children to create are truly exciting."

Amanda Loy, Kindergartner Director and Teacher: "The little ones loved it! They had so much fun creating their own toys and I think seeing their creations move just amazed them. The other teachers were also very impressed and I received nothing but positive feedback. It was such a great experience. I’m looking forward for Tio to be launched!"

Ruth Churchill Dower, Director, Earlyarts: "This team have impressed us so much with the rigour of their educational research and the value they place on nurturing children’s creativity (and that of their parents!). We’re really thrilled to see them going from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing Tio sparking off new ideas between parents and children for many years to come."

Andrew Webber, Microsoft: "Our hearts were won with Tio because we felt this is a startup that can change the world moving forward."

David Landsman, Executive Director of Tata Limited: "The NACUE Varsity Pitch judges think Tio is more than just another tech toy, but a really exciting business. It's based on some great innovative technology and has the needs of its customers - children and their parents - firmly in mind. The platform is versatile, offering the business the scope to develop new products and keep ahead of the competition. Tio could really contribute to enthusing young people about engineering and be a thoroughly enjoyable part of their STEM experience."

Why Tio?  

Engaging and inspiring kids from a young age gives them a head start. By playing with Tio, a simple yet powerful tech, they gain fluency and confidence with STEAM subjects and acquire future skills and knowledge including creative thinking, team work and problem solving.

Children with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) skills are essential to our future.

Every Tio Kit comes with 9 moving toys right out of the box.

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Simple steps  

The personalised storybook is full of friendly characters who introduce imaginary worlds and guide you through your first robots in simple steps.

Fast making  

To get you started we have included nine colourful robot templates. Pop out the shapes, fold along the lines and customise with stickers. Moving robots in minutes!

Fun programming

Children can program their robots to race around obstacles, flap wings, follow a path, flash colour, perform sequences of movements and more! The three ways to program Tio…

Record & Play: with simple taps on the Tio app, the programming mode allows you to record, play back, sequence and loop live actions.

Learn to code: program the building blocks with Microsoft Touch Develop. See your robots burst into life as you write your first code.

Program yourself: the building blocks are also Arduino compatible. This makes it possible to program the building blocks using C programming language.

Infinite toys

Don’t forget Tio can be used with old toys, gadgets, 3D prints and more. Get creative and make and make again!

All rewards include 3D printing credit for you to start experimenting with 3D prints!

Add £15/£25 to the Creator and Inventor Kits to personalise the design of your pop and fold invention templates with your favourite drawing or picture! 

Choose your reward, pledge on the right hand side and visit Tio's safe online community to meet other inventors like you. Don't forget to upload your invention ideas. We'll choose two ideas at the end of the campaign which will be turned into real moving inventions powered by Tio!

See some of our rewards...

The iOS/Android app is so easy and fun to play with. It is full of features including: 

  • Connect Mode: connect and pair blocks
  • Drive Mode: drag up and down to drive
  • Colour Mode: drag to change LED colours
  • Animation Mode: drag up and down to increase and decrease LED speed
  • Program Mode: record and play back movements and colour patterns
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The accessories include…

  • Wheels: drive and race robots
  • Pulleys: pull, lift and rotate robots
  • Adapters: create your own movements! Climb, twirl and hop, it’s up to you!

Stick to anything!

The magnetic mounts and sticky tabs make it possible to stick the building blocks to toys, gadgets, craft material and more. Make anything move!

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3D Hubs is Tio's exclusive 3D printing partner for the Kickstarter campaign.

From left to right: Mario, Peter and Ashley
From left to right: Mario, Peter and Ashley

We want to put this technology in the hands of kids of all ages and inspire tomorrow’s inventors. We aim to help children develop cognitive, physical and technological skills with a kit that stimulates their creativity.

Hi, I am Peter, the inventor of Tio. As a child I was always making and building toys with my Grandpa. However, I vividly remember that I couldn’t make my toys move without a little help from gravity. So I started thinking, what if there was a magic engine to do that? Fast forward 20 years and I set out to invent my dream toy to be enjoyed by kids of all ages. This is when Tio was born.

Peter's inventions
Peter's inventions

A snapshot of our journey so far…

First Tio ideas from the sketchbook :)
First Tio ideas from the sketchbook :)
Tio creativity workshop
Tio creativity workshop

Prototypes started with dummy wooden blocks and toy wheels. This gave us an early insight into the ideal scale and form for the hardware. We asked kids to imagine their dream building block's features and to make cardboard models of the toys they wanted to create. By acting out scenarios where they magically controlled their models from a smartphone, we gained the first ideas for the app!

Block Evolution
Block Evolution

The Tio blocks evolved from simple wooden blocks to 3D printed masterpieces and later on beautiful vacuum cast prototypes. It was an adventure of continuous making and play testing, with so many ideas and a lot of fun along the way.

Risks and challenges

We’re an experienced and passionate team who share a vision to inspire tomorrow’s inventors. We can’t wait to manufacture Tio and are incredibly excited to see our magical building blocks in the hands of creators all over the world.

Our prototypes have been tested by hundreds of kids, parents, educators and makers and are now ready for manufacture. The team has designed, manufactured and delivered many hardware products before, and we’ve established a network of tried and tested partners. We’ve visited factories and hand-picked manufacturers and suppliers. With your help we can get production up and running.

As with any hardware product we are aware manufacturing is a complex and challenging adventure, with often unexpected twists and turns along the way. We have put a detailed plan in place. However if any unexpected issues arise, you’ll be the first to know and we’ll do our utmost best to minimise delay.

We’ve given conservative estimate of delivery dates and we are committed to sharing the Tio story every the step of the way. As a dedicated team we promise to do everything in our power, day and night, despite any obstacles, to deliver beautiful Tio Kits on-time. Be part of the Tio story and together we can inspire a new generation.

Please note: LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO group of companies, which does not sponsor, authorise or endorse this project.

GoPro® is a trademark of GoPro, Inc, which does not sponsor, authorise or endorse this project.

All designs shown in these videos and campaign page are prototypes.

All artwork shown is preliminary, and may change before shipping.

Any questions, email us anytime at hello@tiotoys.com

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    TIO THANKS

    Thanks & love from the Tio team :) You will become a Tio Creator with your name featured in the Tio storybook and website. Plus, you get exclusive updates as you join the adventure of bringing Tio to life.

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

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    Pledge £10 or more About $14

    TIO CREATIVITY PACK

    Become a Tio Creator! Plus, you get a beautiful printed postcard featuring a Tio invention at famous London landmarks! Plus, you get downloads of our first invention creativity cards, posters and wallpapers.

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $42

    TIO T-SHIRT

    Get the awesome Tio Inventor t-shirt. Plus, you get all of the rewards above. All sizes available, including kids. Look epic and be proud while you invent, play and learn.

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

    Shipping included.

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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £69 or more About $96

    (Approx. $96 USD, €88 EURO)

    TIO CREATOR KIT – EARLY BIRD

    Be the first to create with Tio! The Creator Kit includes: 2 blocks, 1 iOS/Android app, 1 storybook, 9 invention templates, 2 wheels, 2 tyres, 2 pulleys, 2 adapters, 5 magnetic mounts, 4 sticky tabs, 1 caster, 2 charge cables and 30 stickers. So much fun packed into one creative kit.

    Add £15 to personalise the design of 3 invention templates with your favourite drawing or picture!

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £79 or more About $109

    (Approx. $110 USD, €101 EURO)

    TIO CREATOR KIT

    Get creating with Tio! The Creator Kit includes: 2 blocks, 1 iOS/Android app, 1 storybook, 9 invention templates, 2 wheels, 2 tyres, 2 pulleys, 2 adapters, 5 magnetic mounts, 4 sticky tabs, 1 caster, 2 charge cables and 30 stickers. So much fun packed into one creative kit.

    Add £15 to personalise the design of 3 invention templates with your favourite drawing or picture!

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £139 or more About $193

    (Approx. $194 USD, €178 EURO)

    TIO INVENTOR KIT – EARLY BIRD

    Be the first to invent with Tio! The Inventor Kit includes: 4 blocks, 1 iOS/Android app, 1 storybook, 9 invention templates, 4 wheels, 4 tyres, 4 pulleys, 4 adapters, 10 magnetic mounts, 8 sticky tabs, 2 casters, 4 charge cables and 60 stickers. Designed for invention. Packed with creative tech. Be ambitious - we can’t wait to see what you make!

    Add £15 to personalise the design of 3 invention templates with your favourite drawing or picture!

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £149 or more About $206

    (Approx. $208 USD, €191 EURO)

    TIO INVENTOR KIT

    Get inventing with Tio! The Inventor Kit includes: 4 blocks, 1 iOS/Android app, 1 storybook, 9 invention templates, 4 wheels, 4 tyres, 4 pulleys, 4 adapters, 10 magnetic mounts, 8 sticky tabs, 2 casters, 4 charge cables and 60 stickers. Designed for invention. Packed with creative tech. Be ambitious - we can’t wait to see what you make!

    Add £15 to personalise the design of 3 invention templates with your favourite drawing or picture!

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £155 or more About $215

    (Approx. $216 USD, €198 EURO)

    TIO CREATE TOGETHER

    Create with family & friends. Get your hands on 2 Creator Kits for double the fun! Race, dance, battle with 2 block inventions or use your blocks together to build an all-powerful 4 block creation. Think creatures, machines, whacky vehicles. Let your imagination run wild!

    Add £25 to personalise the design of 6 invention templates with your favourite drawing or picture!

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £289 or more About $400

    (Approx. $403 USD, €370 EURO)

    TIO INVENT TOGETHER

    Invent with family & friends. Get your hands on 2 Inventor Kits for mega fun! Race, dance, battle with 2 and 4 block inventions or use your blocks together to build an immense 8 block machine. Imagine what’s possible with 8 Tio building blocks.

    Add £25 to personalise the design of 6 invention templates with your favourite drawing or picture!

    Includes 3D printing credit of £10!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £999 or more About $1,384

    (Approx. $1,395 USD, €1,279 EURO)

    TIO EDUCATOR PACK

    10 Creator Kits delivered to the home or institution of your choice. Plus, you get downloads of workshop materials that are perfect for educators, parents, students and kids of all ages.

    The team will also visit you to share the story behind Tio and start your journey to inspire the next generation (video calls for outside UK).

    Includes 3D printing credit of £50!

    Shipping included.

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  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £1,799 or more About $2,492

    (Approx. $2,512 USD, €2,301 EURO)

    TIO IMPACT PACK

    20 Creator Kits delivered to the lucky organisation of your choice. Plus, you get downloads of workshop materials that are perfect for educators, parents, students and kids of all ages.

    The team will also visit you to share the story behind Tio and start your journey to inspire the next generation (video calls for outside UK).

    Includes 3D printing credit of £75!

    Shipping included.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £4,999 or more About $6,924

    (Approx. $6,981 USD, €6,395 EURO)

    TIO INSPIRE PACK

    50 Creator kits delivered to one or a number of organisations of your choice. This is a game changer, something special, we won’t forget! Plus, you get downloads of workshop materials that are perfect for educators, parents, students and kids of all ages. The team will also visit the organisations of your choice to share the story behind Tio and start your journey to inspire the next generation (video calls for outside UK).

    Start a movement with a new way of inventing, playing and learning together.

    Includes 3D printing credit of £100!

    Shipping will be charged at cost after campaign ends.

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Funding period

- (34 days)