Kids these days don't want to play with wooden blocks -- they want to play wooden block games on a tablet. But Felix Heibeck has come up with a wonderful way to lure kids away from their touchscreens by adding electronic and interactive blocks to those wooden marble mazes, cleverly bridging both worlds.
His Cuboino, a play on a popular brand of those maze blocks called Cuboro, introduces a series of electronically-enhanced elements that add more interactivity than just watching a marble snake its way through a pre-defined path. The extension blocks add light and sound sensors and triggers, switch blocks that can steer a marble in different directions, and even a launcher that can automatically feed a series of marbles into the maze.
There's no word on if or when Felix intends to take these beyond his thesis work at the University of Bremen, but since the blocks look like they were created with laser cutters and other less industrial equipment, there's no reason he can't make the plans and programming public so others can make their own. [Cuboino via Creative Applications]