3D Robotics buys connected toy company Sifteo

Sifteo’s electronic block-based gaming system might not seem relevant to drones at first glance, but 3D Robotics thinks otherwise: The drone startup announced today that it will acquire the gaming company.

What do Sifteo and 3D Robotics (see disclosure) have in common? They both need to miniaturize electronics and pack them into a good-looking device. 3D Robotics named computing, wireless communication, virtualization and sensors as Sifteo’s areas of expertise that are especially appealing. The company also noted Sifteo’s IP portfolio and experience in bringing products to a mass market.

Sifteo, which makes touch-screen blocks that work together to create interactive games and activities, did not add many details about the deal, It did note the news comes a year after it began working on a new product:

In this past year we’ve been working on a new product and getting ready to launch it. But when we were presented with the chance to join forces with a company that is redefining how we interact with and connect the digital and physical worlds – flying robots! – we had to say “yes!” We can’t say too much about how Sifteo’s people and technology will become a part of 3D Robotics, but we hope you’ll stay tuned.

The companies did not disclose how much 3D Robotics will pay. Sifteo has around 25 employees and has raised $16.5 million in funding since it was founded in 2009–the same year 3D Robotics was born.

3D Robotics and Sifteo are backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.