18 Jan Lego Launches Boost Programming Set
Lego has announced a building and coding set designed to let kids control their models and add movement and sound.
Lego Boost is based around a Move Hub, which is a Lego stud-covered brick with built in tilt sensor. Kids can then add Lego ‘elements’ to this, including motors and a sensor that combines color and distance detection. In total, the kit includes 840 bricks, and comes with instructions for building five different models; Vernie the Robot, Frankie the Cat, the Guitar 4000, the Multi-Tool Rover 4 (M.T.R.4), and the Autobuilder.
Alongside the building instructions, there’s a free downloadable app that contains the guidance, building instructions and simple coding commands for the five models. The code development relies on building behaviors and actions by linking digital coding blocks in a horizontal layout. The kit also lets children add voice recordings to “add personality without requiring spelling and typing.” The app also includes more than 60 activities designed to inspire additional building, coding and play.
The kit also includes a “creative canvas”. This has the instructions for three basic models that can then be customized. The three base models are a walking base that can then be used to make animals like a dog or a pony, a driving base for building vehicles; and an entrance base so that children can make their own castle, fort, or space station. The kit can also be used to “boost” other Lego kits.
In terms of complexity, Lego Boost is much simpler than Lego MindStorms, and is therefore more accessible. The emphasis is on building robots and playing, with the coding elements coming second. An enthusiastic child could learn the basics of coding, but that’s secondary to the building aspects.
Lego Boost will available in the second half of 2017 and will have a suggested retail price of $159.99.