What are Unruly Splats?
Unruly Splats are programmable electronic buttons that kids can control through code. Kids 6 and up can code to change the lights, sounds, and sensing of the Unruly Splats to create any game they want. They connect wirelessly to a tablet, smartphone, or PC to control the Splats. Kids can jump, step on and run around the Splats to play active games.
Unruly Splats engage kids mentally, physically, and socially all at once. Project-based learning, creative invention, computer programming, energetic physical activity, and social interaction all come together to help kids learn critical STEM / STEAM skills and have a blast at the same time. #ActiveSTEMPlay
The Unruly Games: Invented by Kids, For Kids
So how does it work?!
IDEATE: Kids make up games all the time! How else do you think "toilet tag" or "TV Tag" were invented? Once kids see how Splats work, they come up with rules for new games to invent.
CODE: Now kids take the rules they've made up and they use our kid-friendly programming language on a tablet or smartphone to code the Splats.
PLAY: Kids then connect the tablet or smartphone wirelessly to the Splats with Bluetooth and start to play!
ITERATE & SHARE: Sometimes the first try needs improvement. Kids come back to their code to make changes to improve their games. Kids can also share their games with the Unruly Community online!
Kids are motivated to learn when they are working on things that matter to them. Kids take play seriously. Unruly Splats lets kids learn through designing games that matter to them. We meet kids where they're at with the way they already like to play. They don't even realize they're learning...
In a nutshell:
Once kids learn how to control the Splats, there are unlimited games they can program!
Who's excited for Unruly Splats?!
We have tested Unruly Splats with over 2,500 kids, parents, and educators and they love Splats! Unruly Splats can work well in a home environment with our Splats Set or our Family Pack, or in an educational environment in a classroom, after-school program, summer camp, or library with our Educator Pack (10 Splats + curriculum, support, and training)!
Kids 6 and up can enjoy coding and playing on Splats. Kids younger than 6 love to jump around and play on the Splats, too! It's a rewarding challenge for kids 6+ to program games for their little siblings.
Here's what people are saying about Unruly Splats:
ACTIVE: We believe that doing and creating in the real-world is the best way to learn something new. Kids are full of ideas and creations. With Unruly Splats, we offer an approachable platform for kids to immediately make their ideas reality.
STEM: The next 5 years will see more innovation than the last 50. Kids are our future. Unruly Splats empower kids to be future disruptors by inspiring them to code physical objects.
PLAY: Learning should be fun. The most efficient way to motivate kids is through play. With Unruly Splats, kids play fun active games with friends like it's recess indoors!
Learn to code your own games using our simple visual coding interface based on MIT’s Scratch and made using Google Blockly. The language is block-based, so kids can drag and drop blocks to create rules for their Splats. Write code for each Splat, connect them via Bluetooth and let the games begin! We are also connected to MIT's ScratchX hardware extensions and will continue to keep this integration.
The Unruly App will be available for free through iOS, Android, and as a web application.
Here's what Splats can do:
- Light up any color with 14 individually programmable RGB LEDs
- Play out any sound from our sound library, or record your own!
- Sense when you step on or press them
- Connect wirelessly to your tablet or smartphone with Bluetooth
- No plugs or cords required! Each Splat runs on 3 AA batteries
Prototyping the Splats
The Unruly Team
The Unruly Team combines extensive experience in maker education (Olin College of Engineering, MIT Media Lab), toy manufacturing (Hasbro, Mattel, Tyco), technology innovation (iRobot, Rethink Robotics), and business (Cranium, Babson College, Harry Winston). Collectively we have been part of teams launching hundreds of products to market. Our past launches have enabled successful communities online for kids like Scratch, and viral sharing communities in the real-world like Pokemon trading cards. We have built online kids coding communities, coding robots for kids, engaging games and toys that have made it to millions of homes, and more! We are all extremely passionate about letting kids engage in Active STEM Play for the first time.
Bryanne Leeming, Founder and CEO. Bryanne learned how to code when she was 8 years old playing a game called Microworlds. 10 years later she used those same skills in her undergraduate computer science class at McGill University where she was studying cognitive science. She wanted to bring that same learning experience to kids, but in a more engaging way that meets them where they're at with how they like to play. That's where the idea for Unruly came from while getting her MBA at Babson College.
Amon Millner: Education Lead. Amon Millner is an Assistant Professor of Computing and Innovation at Olin College of Engineering, where he directs the EASE (Extending Access to STEAM Empowerment) Lab. He was part of the team in the Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group at the MIT Media Lab that developed Scratch, a programming language and community for creators of all ages (see the >20 million projects shared so far at scratch.mit.edu).
Daniel Ozick: Technical Lead. Daniel Ozick is a software and electrical engineer who specializes in robotics and other computational systems that incorporate physical elements and real-time interactions. At iRobot, Daniel led software development for the second generation of the Roomba robot vacuum and multiple robotic toys.
David Kunitz: Head of Design. David has over 25 years experience designing and manufacturing toys at Hasbro, Mattel, and Tyco Toys. Most recently, he designed MegaTracks by Lionel Trains. In the past he has built everything from Star Wars Lightsabers to GI Joe and Tonka Truck products. David also serves on the board of the Rhode Island Museum of Science & Art (RIMOSA).
Paayal Khanna: Marketing Lead. Originally, from Mumbai, India, Paayal is a recent graduate from the Babson MBA program. She has a background in textile manufacturing and digital marketing with experience working at a digital marketing agency on brands like Maybelline and BBC. She most recently worked as a business growth consultant with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Branding: Tom Nguyen and his team, Jodric as well as George P. Johnson (https://www.gpj.com/) from the 2016 Brandathon competition.
Website: Prashant Mohan
The Unruly Advisors
- Jill Waller (Hasbro, LeapFrog, Cranium)
- Jay Silver (Makey-Makey)
- Maxine Clark (Build-a-Bear Workshop)
- Nigel Simpson (Disney)
- Jean Hammond (LearnLaunch)
We have been testing prototypes and building games for Unruly Splats since 2016. We have now tested fully-functioning prototypes with over 2,500 kids and parents and they love us! We have created a final design for the Splats, validated a bill of materials and timeline with industry experts and Dragon Innovation, and are now ready to start building the Splats as soon as we receive your orders.
Here is a timeline of what you can expect.
Unruly Studios is also part of the Hardware Studio program with Dragon Innovation and Avnet. Read more about the Hardware Studio here.
As a team, we have been lucky to work with Dragon Innovation from the start, thinking through our design for manufacturing plans early in our prototyping process. When they launched the Hardware Studio, we were chosen as one of the first companies to participate. We have already validated our Bill of Materials with the Hardware Studio, showed them many of our prototypes along the way, and ensured that the team we have in place will be able to manufacture the Splats.
- We are working with a talented team with backgrounds from iRobot, Hasbro, and Mattel who have brought many successful products to market in the past.
- We will not ship the product until we have passed all relevant child safety and consumer electronics regulations.
- We use AA batteries instead of lithium batteries to improve the safety of the product.
- We do not save recorded sounds on the tiles or through any networks
- We do not collect any personal or identifiable data with our products.
Please comment and reach out to us about your requests for stretch goals. We have some ideas around additional software integrations and levels or challenges for our app that we can build, but we would rather hear from you about what you want to see added to Unruly Splats!
UNRULY STUDIOS - we're just getting started!
Unruly Studios is a Boston-based EdTech startup. We create interactive games to empower kids with critical STEM skills while encouraging physical play and social engagement. Our products get kids moving around and engaging with the whole room for their first experience of Active STEM Play. Unruly Splats is just the beginning... Stay tuned for more!
Writing about us?
Risks and challenges
With Unruly Splats, we are taking on a big challenge. Manufacturing a product is not easy and the path to delivery to our wonderful backers is bound to be sprinkled with a few bumps in the road. As a team, we are committed to working every day and night from now on to create a high-quality product and deliver it in the timeline we have outlined here. Lucky for us, we have several team members who have brought products to market before and have the experience we need to navigate any unexpected setbacks we might face.
We also promise to be transparent throughout the process of building our supply chain and manufacturing your Unruly Splats, right up until they arrive at your door. We will communicate frequently to update you on positive progress and challenges we face along the way. You will be part of this journey with us, and this is just the beginning. You are getting the first version of Unruly Splats, with many more to come and future products as well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)