About this project
Thanks for a spectYakular campaign!
Huge thanks to you all for your help in launching Jubilite! It was an incredible experience because of you. For those who missed out on our Kickstarter campaign, you can keep up with Jubilite and place orders at www.BrainyYakLabs.com.
Jubilite is an inspiring craft and engineering kit that lets kids create a working lamp that projects beautiful light patterns on the walls of their rooms.
Kids assemble the housing, connect the simple electronics, and decorate with colorful, reusable ornaments, stickers, and dry-erase markers.
Jubilite has 10 colorful light show modes that kids control to fit any mood. They select the flashing speed and set the colors by adjusting special red, green, and blue LEDs, learning how mixing colors with light is different than mixing with paint.
Imagine the look on a child's face when the lamp she built lights up for the first time! Not only will she have assembled and decorated an amazing lamp, she will have gained confidence in herself and her abilities in the process. And she might not even realize that she has gained valuable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) skills while being creative and having fun!
Girls and boys learn how to use tools (included) to assemble the plastic housing, secure the PCBs (printed circuit boards), and insert the switches.
The electronics are powerful yet easy to learn. There is no soldering involved, and the lamp runs on AA batteries so it’s safe to construct as well. While connecting the electronic modules together, kids learn about each component and its function.
Fun, graphical instructions guide your child through each step. The instruction booklet also teaches important vocabulary (microcontroller, PCB, RGB, LED) and the principles behind electronics and mixing colors with light.
Take a one-minute look at how the Jubilite is assembled (Normal assembly time is 20-30 minutes, not including decorating!) ...
We love all our backers but were particularly excited when Kickstarter's CEO and co-founder supported us. Thanks Yancey!!
There are plenty of robot kits, drones, and programmable cars out there, but nearly all of them are targeted to boys. Why let the guys have all the fun? As a mom/MIT professor and dad/product designer, we decided to do something about this.
From our deep experience developing products for kids, we know that before you can hope to educate a child, you have to first capture her attention. That’s why we decided to start with arts & crafts which so many girls (and boys) love.
We tested tons of different products and prototypes with over 300 kids and their parents in their homes, in classrooms, at STEM fairs, and refined the design based on their feedback. What we learned was kids love the lamp!
They said they are excited about creating a beautiful, functional object with lasting value that they can keep and use every day for years. They expressed pride at accomplishing a task that might seem a bit challenging at the outset. They gained an understanding of how real products are designed and made.
Parents (and aunts & uncles and grandparents!) love it too. They marvel that their kids are learning while having fun, without the feeling that they are engaged in an “educational” activity.
Dads and moms who've tried Jubilite are thrilled to have found something that they are excited to build with their daughters. Charles, who has a 9-year-old daughter, said, "I wish more toys would have the 'I can do anything' feeling rather than the 'I can be what you want me to be' vibe."
Jubilite isn't just for girls, of course. In our testing, we've found that boys are just as enthusiastic about building a cool lamp. We want to excite both girls and boys about STEM through creative play.
We are offering two versions of the lamp kit:
- The Jubilite Kit comes with plenty of reusable stickers and erasable markers for personalizing the lamp.
- The Deluxe Jubilite Kit includes everything in the Jubilite Kit PLUS the Sparkle Shade, the Mood Shade, and even more stickers and markers for non-stop fun and customization!
Jubilite has 4 light show modes controlled by simple buttons to match any mood ...
- Favorite color mode: Set Jubilite to glow in your favorite color by setting the red, green, and blue brightness levels for the LEDs. Learn how mixing colors with light is different than mixing with paint.
- Crystal mode: Jubilite sparkles with an ever-changing crystalline pattern of vibrant colors. Control the speed from slow to fast.
- Rainbow mode: Jubilite morphs through the colors of the rainbow. Set it to a soothing, mellow pace as you fall asleep or to an energetic clip if you’re feeling active.
- Dance mode: It’s dance party time! Go from Adele to Taylor Swift without missing a beat!
- Auto off: Jubilite turns off automatically after 15 minutes - perfect for bedtime!
Stretch Goal - 6 Amazing Bonus Modes!
Yakhoo! We hit our $35,000 Stretch Goal - every Jubilite will include six super-fun bonus light modes, for a total of 10 modes!
- Lightning Mode: Can you handle a spooky night punctuated by brilliant lightning flashes? Might need a security blanket for this one.
- Twinkle Mode: These sparkly splashes of distilled rainbow drops are almost too cute to bear!
- Undersea Mode: The soothing waves of blues and greens will surely conjure dreams of mermaids frolicking with singing crabs.
- Campfire Mode: Break out the sleeping bags, s'mores, and that trusty ukulele!
- Sunset Mode: It's the perfect end to a magical summer day as you gallop away on your pearlescent winged unicorn named Unicorny.
- Super Combo Mode: Yup, this cycles through all 10 modes - the 4 original modes PLUS the 6 bonus modes - for one insane dance party!
The Jubilite Kit includes:
- Plastic lamp housing
- Clear projection dome
- Custom PCB (printed circuit board) with microcontroller
- 8 individually controllable RGB (red, green, blue) LEDs
- Color instruction manual with explanations of how each component works
- 30 reusable stickers (designs shown not final)
- 3 erasable markers (markers shown not final)
- Phillips screwdriver
The Deluxe Jubilite Kit includes all of the above PLUS:
- Sparkle Shade
- Over 100 Sparkle Shade decorations (designs shown not final)
- Mood Shade for a soothing glow
- 30 more stickers (designs shown not final)
- 3 more erasable markers (markers shown not final)
The Mood Shade is perfect for mood lighting (oooh ... clever name!). The light patterns project onto the Mood Shade instead of the walls.
Our vision for future products is to create a whole interconnected room of electronic toys and everyday objects that are programmable and controlled through smart devices. The possibilities are endless!
Target age range: 8+
(Please note that we will continue to improve the product based on your feedback. All designs shown are subject to change.)
New Magical Fluffy Cloud Add-On Reward!
Behold ... The Magical Fluffy Cloud! And can you imagine this with Lightning Mode or Sunset Mode?? No need to imagine ... here it is!
After your dance party, just slip this cuddly cloud over your Jubilite and instantly feel at peace and one with the universe. This is an add-on reward. Just add $14 to your pledge to get this glowing, fluffy, piece of awesomeness (If you've already backed, you can click the green "Manage your pledge" button to adjust the amount).
New Personalized Add-On Rewards!
Get these one-of-a-kind laser-cut metallic decorations customized with any name you want (that fits)! These hang from the Deluxe Jubilite Sparkle Shade.
Or get these fun, personalized clear stickers that can be used with any Jubilite. We'll print any name you like.
Get either of these custom decorations FREE by referring a friend who becomes a backer! Just let us know by clicking on Tony's face above (gently) and clicking "Contact me".
Or add these on to your pledge by adding $5 for each laser-cut decoration and $3 for each personalized sticker. We'll contact you to find out what name to use. Kids will love these!
Nico helped create 7 amazing makerspaces in the Ravenswood City Public School District in East Palo Alto, CA, where 96% of students are at or below the poverty line. We're excited to partner with Ravenswood to donate Jubilites to their in-school makerspaces where kids code robots, learn CAD, and prototype with 3D printers.
So far, backers have contributed toward the donation of over 44 Jubilites for schools! You can also add on to any reward level toward this program.
Melanie Flores - Teaches engineering to kindergarteners ...
“I feel like a lamp designer. A lamp isn’t something people usually make, and I made this.” – Grace, 12.
“I’m proud of myself! I want to take it apart and make it again and again.” – Sienna, 10.
"It's a cool way to do art and science together." - Elisa, 9.
Grace Connors - Engineer, educator, recent MIT grad ...
Check out all the fabulous rewards!!
As backers, you'll be rewarded with the Jubilite Kit or Deluxe Jubilite Kit as shown below. Of course, there are early bird specials and multi-packs as well.
You can even help us by backing just $1 (and you'll be helping school kids too!). If you pledge any amount to the $1+ "Jubilite for Schools!" tier, we'll donate one Jubilite for every $30 we collect at that reward tier. If backers collectively contribute $3,000 at that tier, we will donate 100 Jubilites to schools! We'll identify schools and programs dedicated to advancing STEM education for kids. You even add on any amount to another reward tier for this program - just let us know, so we can account for it.
This round of crowdfunding will go towards the first production run of Jubilite. We need to raise enough money to pay for the injection molds for the plastic parts.
- July 2016 - Filed patent application
- February 2017 - Refined design based on play testing with kids
- May 2017 - Kickstarter campaign!
- June - Finalize design based on backer feedback
- July - Begin making injection molds for plastic parts
- October - Test and finalize plastic parts
- November - Test Jubilite for safety and quality
- December - Production
- January 2018 - Ship from China to US
- February 2018 - Ship Jubilite to backers!
You might be asking - Can you ship Jubilite before the 2017 holidays? We will work as quickly as we can, but we don't want to make promises we can't keep. This is a conservative schedule with some time built in for unforeseen circumstances. We will do everything we can to ship early!
Jubilite is the first product from the team at Brainy Yak Labs!
As a boy in LA, Tony helped test toy concepts for his dad and uncle, both toy inventors. He loved building questionable contraptions with big rubber bands, straws, and anything sharp.
He got his BS in electrical engineering at MIT, conducting research at the Media Lab, and got an MS in product design from Stanford. He's taught design at Stanford and now teaches MIT students how to design toys.
He has spent his 20+ year career inventing, designing, and manufacturing toys, arts & crafts, and kids' electronics. He founded a VC-backed kids’ creativity website, licensed toys to Mattel/Fisher-Price, and has been VP of product development for consumer product start-ups to billion dollar companies.
He co-founded Brainy Yak Labs to inspire kids to make their dreams into reality.
Maria built telegraphs, destroyed radios, and designed furniture for her dolls as a young girl growing up in Indiana. A supernerd, she went on to get her BS at MIT, PhD at Stanford University, and completed her postdoc at CalTech.
These days Maria is a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and directs the Ideation Lab which does research in design with organizations such as the MIT-SUTD International Design Center, the National Science Foundation, and NASA. She’s won multiple awards for excellence in teaching and mentorship, including MIT's highest teaching award.
She co-founded Brainy Yak Labs to get girls excited at a young age about STEM topics and to capture their lasting interest.
Growing up, Jane enjoyed playing with her Barbies and Legos as much as she did being awarded stickers for solving tangram puzzles. She had no concept or awareness of “engineering” or “technology” until she was older but by then, she was dreaming about writing the next Great American Novel.
A true Renaissance Yak, Jane holds dual degrees in biology and English from UC Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She has helped market everything from biotech tools to kitchen appliances to, of course, toys!
Jane enjoys engineering in her own way now -- by crafting products and experiences. STEM education is a cause she can really get behind in the hopes that girls (and boys) everywhere can build confidence, break down barriers and stereotypes or even better, never know they were there in the first place.
Growing up in two countries on the opposite sides of the globe, Joyce has always been interested in learning about cultures and how they affect human behavior and interaction.
Joyce received her BFA for Industrial Design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and her Masters in Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design. During her masters thesis, Joyce focused on “Product Design for Family Cohesion,” where she worked with families to design products for kids that promote family interaction. Joyce has over 7 years of experience developing consumer appliances, medical devices, home gadgets, and of course, toys!
Today Joyce works in Boston while continuing her passion for designing products for children's development.
Since she was little, Natalie's always enjoyed building things - from forts to Lego mansions, you name it. Her love for hands-on building brought her to MIT, where she'll be graduating this semester with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering.
Her classes in school have spurred a love for design which she's put to use at internships with both Fitbit and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. On top of all this, she's also captain of MIT's track & field team!
She hopes Jubilite and other STEM toys will bring more kids the joy she found in building and technology as a child.
Lawrence Neeley was raised in Oakland, California and made his way to the East Coast as a Meyerhoff Scholar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland.
He rowed crew at Maryland and still can be found each year at the annual Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston (now as a spectator). Lawrence attended Stanford University where he earned both his Master’s and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering, specializing in design.
After graduating, he became a postdoctoral scholar at MIT in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is now an Assistant Professor of Design and Entrepreneurship at Olin College, and the father of two adorable boys.
Risks and challenges
Manufacturing electronic products can be complex, and there are also challenges with managing schedule, budget, and communications. This is especially true when working with overseas factories in order to produce affordable products.
Fortunately, our co-founder Tony has developed hundreds of successful toys and electronic products over the past two decades, most of them with factories in China, that have been sold at retailers around the world. He has led global teams of engineers, designers, and quality assurance managers.
Tony has worked with the factory that will be manufacturing Jubilite for over 15 years. They have a stellar reputation and have worked with large international brands that sell to all major retailers.
There are unexpected issues that inevitably arise with the development of any product. We have created a conservative schedule and a plan that includes tight communication - with our factory and with you, our backers. We are committed to transparent communication and believe that being upfront and honest is always the best path forward.
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