Bottom line: By joining forces, Sphero is now the largest player in the market with a portfolio of over 140 patents in electronics, software, robotics and the Internet of Things and they should be able to reach even more students. That’s something that both teachers and students will likely approve of.

Consumer robotics and toy company Sphero on Friday announced it is acquiring New York City-based modular electronics maker littleBits for an undisclosed sum.

littleBits is best known for inventing the “electronic building block.” I took a look at the littleBits Smart Home Kit several years back which included more than a dozen modules and nearly as many accessories that snap together magnetically to build an array of creations. The idea is to help teach newcomers of any age about the basics of engineering.

Sphero and littleBits over the past nine years have combined to reach over six million students through 65,000 teachers across 35,000 schools around the world. Collectively, they’ve sold more than $500 million in robots and kits.

A Harris poll cited in today’s announcement indicates that 91 percent of teachers would like to integrate more hands-on learning in the classroom and research shows that students who like weekly hands-on learning activities perform 40-70 percent better in science and math subjects.

Sphero said it plans to accelerate its international growth and pursue other acquisitions to expand its portfolio. CEO Paul Berberian will continue to lead the company with littleBits founder Ayah Bdeir moving on to “pursue her next adventure.”

By: Techspot