Superstructs is a rod and connector based building system made with durable ABS plastic and EVA foam. Most rod and connector building systems are based on the Pythagorean theorem of triangles, which allow for the creation of lightweight and sturdy constructions that make these systems ideal, as a platform, for many robotics projects.
In this project, we will build a remote-control car using Superstructs toy parts, some 3D printed parts (to hold our electronics), an Arduino UNO, and a Bluetooth LE module. The complete kit can be ordered online here: Superstructs Bluetooth Car Kit (including electronics) for $129.99
What You Will Need — the parts!
WABA Fun manufactures Superstructs building toys and it’s possible, especially if you have kids, that you already own a set or two. Superstructs have been available for over ten years and have earned numerous toy industry awards. Here are the Superstructs parts you’ll need:
|1001p||4||12 socket connector (yellow or pink!)|
|1002p||2||10 socket connector (wheel)|
|1074p||2||dual-arm connector plug|
|1034p||2||foam tire (red or blue)|
WABA Fun also sells these components as a set from their website at: http://superstructs.com/catalog/
This project in based on the Arduino UNO micro controller. Hopefully you have one of these (or a clone) around, but if you don’t, here’s everything you’ll need:
|SparkFun Motor Driver https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9457||$8.95|
|DC Hobby Motor (x2)
|1.5V AAA Battery Holder
|UNO R3 Development Board
|Breadboard Jumper Wires
|Bluetooth 4.0 HM-10 Module
Total cost for the electronics $54.91
3D Printed Part Files
As cool and flexible as Superstructs are for building whatever you dream, they’re not ready-made for housing or holding our electronics. Here is a link to a zipped file with ready-to-print STL files to hold our electronics:
In the event you do not have access to a 3D printer, then you can purchase the parts needed for this project here:
Here is a link to the Arduino Sketch you’ll need. The code here interprets signals received over Bluetooth from your iOS device to control each motor independently.
If you do not already have the Arduino IDE (software), you’ll want to download this as well and install it. Here’s a link to download the Arduino IDE:
iOS Superstructs Driving App
Superduino is an app written by WABA Fun specifically for this project. You will use this app on iPhone to communication and drive your car. Download and install the Superduino app by search the app store for “Superduino” or follow this link.
Step 1: Build the Superstructs Car Frame
Step 2: Solder Break-away Headers to the DC Motor Controller
This is the only step that requires an adult. So please find one (preferably one who knows a little bit about soldering) and have them prepare and solder headers to the SparkFun DC motor controller as is shown here:
Step 3: Connect the Motor Controller to the Arduino and Power
Step 4: Connect the Bluetooth Module to the Arduino
Step 5: Connect the Motors to the Motor Controller
Step 6: Load the Arduino Sketch
Download and uncompress the Arduino sketch file. The sketch file for this project is named, bluetoothController.ino. Connect the USB cable to your Arduino and your computer. Fire up the Arduino IDE, open bluetoothController.ino, and load the sketch onto your Arduino.
Step 7: Connect 9v and 6v Batteries to the Circuit
Add 4 AAA batteries to the holder holder and connect it to the circuit as shown below. You will want to disconnect the power when not using your car. Do this by unplugging the ground wire from the breadboard. Next, connect the 9-volt connector to your 9v battery and add to your car.
Step 8: Launch the Superduino iPhone app
Once the app is loaded, click the “menu” button (which looks like three lines near the upper-right hand corner) and select “HMSoft” from the list to connect to your car.
WABA Fun has launched SuperBuilds, a search engine for models to build. SuperBuilds is a searchable database loaded with fun Superstructs models and the downloadable building plans to help you make them. With SuperBuilds, young builders can quickly find new building ideas based on the Superstructs sets they own.
All searches are based on the components in each set, so you will not receive results that cannot be made without buying more sets. But if you wish to see what else can be made when you do own more, the SuperBuilds system can show you that too! Our designers have been busy and they don’t seem to limit themselves to designing using the components from only one set.
Check it out! SuperBuilds
The wait is over — the new web site for the Arc-a-Teks (Arc-a-Teks.com) is now live. The site hosts a pluthera of new information including character bios, cool downloads, and the ability to unlock new characters with the secret codes found in each set!
Superstructs™ Custom Kits is an online system where anyone can design and personalize their own toy building set and make the perfect gift for a young builder. Created entirely in-house, the Custom Kits system is the first of its kind to combine award-winning toy design with user personalization to make the perfect gift.
Check it out!
There are over 24,000 possible combinations… with even more options on the way! Read the full press release.
They have helped us build Atlantis, the Sumerian Zigarut, and the Egyptian Pyramids. They have been with us from the earliest primative societes and taught us the crafts and artistry of master-building. They have helped humanity to build its character and they are about to reveal themselves for the very first time…
The Arc-a-Teks® coming Summer 2010
WABA Fun previewed its new line of collectible building characters at the International Toy Fair in New York.
About the Arc-a-Teks Building Characters
Arc-a-Teks are fun and adorable collectible character sets with a compelling story. The first series, due to release Summer 2010, consist of three sets (Earth, Sky and Sea) and six characters. Each set includes 40-42 pieces, enough to build two complete Arc-a-Teks characters simultaneously and collector cards that reveal the Arc-a-Tek’s name, details and a secret code to unlock additional Arc-a-Teks online. Kids can also use the web site to learn more about the history of the Arc-a-Teks and their muse-like influence on many of Earth’s own famous designers and inventors
Like all our Superstructs sets, the Arc-a-Teks line is flexible and open-ended, allowing kids to combine pieces from any set for endless building options. For ages 3+; SRP: $11.95.
WABA Fun today announced that all its partner-manufacturer located in China has been certified to the Social Accountability International SA 8000 work place and human rights standard. The certification covers the manufacture and packing of products for exportation to the United States and Europe.
SA 8000 is an international certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. As well as setting standards for employees worldwide, SA 8000 also embraces existing international agreements.
This certification is the most recent manifestation of WABA Fun’s commitment to ensure that the Company’s partner operations, wherever located, protect both its work force and the environment.
Our Pinklets – the Fairy Garden set has been nominated in the Time to Play awards at Time To Play Magazine! Follow the link and cast your vote! Time To Play Magaine
We are in the throws of production at our factory for the (fast approaching) holiday season. In fact, I will be there next week to review quality and (once again) update our team there on product safety. But more importantly… we’re about a month away from shipping the first Pinklets – Lilies and Friends sets to stores!
“pinklets™” Lilies and Friends builds on the success of the pinklets Fairy Garden set and invites young girl builders to create their own stories in a magical new setting. The Lilies and Friends theme includes plastic rods, connectors, wheels and decorative EVA flowers, leaves and wings and plans to build friends and beautiful flowers. Built on the award-winning Superstructs building system, pinklets allows for endless play possibilities.
We have some exciting news to share! Delta of Sweden, makers of Moon Sand™, have partnered with WABA Fun. You may now find special offers and unique toys within our online store that are not available anywhere else.
If you’re not familiar, Deltasand is like Moon Sand except that it’s 50% lighter and is ideal for molding and carving with simple tools. We can even ship it with your Superstructs order!