Stephanie and Elizabeth Vicarte may have come up with the next cool thing for toy lovers. The sisters’ VectOrb invention won first place Sunday in the Toy 2.0 Challenge, a toy-design competition sponsored by Bethesda’s Kid International Discovery Museum.
VectOrb was one of three ideas that earned the siblings from Hagerstown, Maryland, spots as semifinalists. Stephanie, 13, and Elizabeth, 15, spent many hours this summer creating prototypes of their projects, which also included a robotic plant and an electronic pin.
The judges picked VectOrb, a remote-controlled ball that was inspired by the “Star Wars” movies.
“I think the judges liked it because it had more potential than the other two projects,” Stephanie said.
The ball made of a gyroscope, three motor controllers, six fans and a 3-D printed base and shell. It rolls, but the girls have more functions in mind.
“We’re also planning on having it jump or do stunts,” Elizabeth said.
The idea won the sisters $3,000 and the possibility that Innovation First International — the maker of Hexbugs toys — will manufacture VectOrb. The girls said IFI engineers will now evaluate the project.
McLean’s Chandler Wimmer, 11, finished in second place with a toy cube called Maneuver. Rockville’s Sebastien Sviatyi, 10, who created the G-Spider, took third place.
All the finalists worked with mentors throughout the summer. The kids displayed their inventions Sunday at the Silver Spring Maker Faire. Faire attendees were impressed with finalist Miranda McMillen, whose Hyper Hedgehogs won the popular vote.