Fool-proof electronics to boost kids' creativity

June 14, 2016 // By Julien Happich
American company Mad Tatu Development has its roots in Hungary, where its core development team operates. The company provides web and application development services but isn't shy about hardware design. It is successful selling fitness club management tools and security systems it has designed from the bottom up.

Now, the company is branching out to the consumer market with its first Kickstarter campaign, promoting Elex Pipe, a kit of safe-to use and fool-proof electronic components designed to be magnetically assembled and connected into 3D electronic circuits.

The project started two years ago, "It was Christmas time" remembers Zsolt Démi, co-founder and lead software developer at the company.

"I remember that as a child, I would always disassemble electronic or mechanical devices to understand how they worked or to build something else. I would ruin everything most of the time. But on some occasions when I was able to re-assemble something properly and it worked again, I had the greatest feeling. So I wondered how I could share the feeling of excitement that I had when creating something that worked" continued Démi.


The Elex Prof application shows you more about
the actual building blocks and their logic of assembly

The Elex Pipe has been his pet project since then, requiring nearly two years of development, with the company buying new tools and materials, tinkering with electronic components and embedding them into transparent plexiglass pipes with aluminium endings and snappy magnets.

"It took us some time to figure out what would be the right size, the right options to offer, circuit elements and connectors, and also to develop educational applications, with puzzle-like challenges for kids to try and learn by solving electronic circuits manually".


Illustrating how components snap together

The Elex Pipe elements include various LEDs, lasers, pivoting mirrors, batteries, interconnects of different shapes, programmable elements (through a Bluetooth connection to the Elex Prof smartphone app), digital counters, voltmeters, potentiometers, capacitors, reed relays, various switches, metal detectors, infrared detectors and magnetic polarity detectors. The equivalent of a bread board for all these chunky but safe elements, the Elex table provides a readily powered prototyping area to play with.