Earlier this month, my boss made the trip to CES. I wish I had been able to go! LEGO Boost was announced! (If you don’t know what CES stands for, it is the Consumer Electronics Show. CES is where tech companies make announcements for new products coming out on the market this year.)
LEGO has an amazing product up their sleeve with LEGO Boost and you definitely need to read more about it below.
What is LEGO Boost?
In short, LEGO Boost is basically a LEGO Mindstorms system, but for a younger crowd. Here is the official press release from LEGO:
Combine the versatile LEGO® building system with advanced technology to boost your creativity with the awesome LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox. Download the free tablet app to your device and follow the step-by-step instructions to build and code any of the 5 multifunctional models. Experience Vernie the Robot—a moving and talking robot; the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4)—a robust, versatile rover with 4 different tool attachments including a spring-loaded shooter; the Guitar4000—a musical instrument with pitch bend and sound effects; Frankie the Cat—an interactive pet that plays, purrs and expresses its mood; or the AutoBuilder—an automated production line that really builds miniature LEGO models! Bring your creations to life with the app’s intuitive, icon-based coding interface and complete an array of exciting activities designed for each model. This set also includes a playmat for use with specific activities, and a LEGO BOOST wall poster!
Take your LEGO® play to the next level with the amazing LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox. Build and code interactive, motorized robots, models and creations with distance, color and tilt sensor technologies.
- Includes over 840 LEGO® pieces, plus a LEGO Move Hub, Interactive Motor and a Color & Distance Sensor.
- Move Hub features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, two encoded motors, activation button, internal tilt sensor and a light.
- Interactive Motor is an encoded motor.
- Color & Distance Sensor detects distance, motion and color, and can also function as a light.
- Check out the cool white, orange and blue color scheme.
- Rotate Vernie’s head to activate its shoulder-mounted spring-loaded shooter.
- Build the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4) and try out the different tool and customization attachments to prepare the vehicle for an array of exciting activities.
- Learn how to play a song and rock out with the Guitar4000.
- Look after your own pet with Frankie the Cat. Be sure to feed it the right food—or it might get upset!
- Construct, code and operate the AutoBuilder to produce real miniature LEGO® models.
- Build and code robots and models, and complete exciting activities with the playmat and intuitive LEGO® BOOST app, available for iOS and Android tablet devices.
- Easy-to-use intuitive software with icon-based drag-and-drop coding interface.
- Building instructions for all 5 models are included with the free LEGO® BOOST app.
- This product requires batteries (not included). Please refer to the product packaging for type and quantity.
- Vernie the robot stands over 10” (27cm) tall.
- M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4) measures over 4” (12cm) high, 9” (23cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide.
- Guitar4000 measures over 1” (5cm) high, 16” (42cm) long and 5” (15cm) wide.
- Frankie the Cat stands over 6” (17cm) tall.
- The AutoBuilder measures over 10” (27cm) high, 7” (19cm) long and 6” (16cm) wide.
What can you build with LEGO Boost?
The LEGO development team has already done quite a bit of brainstorming on that end. They’ve created a few models for your kids to build out of the box:
From left to right, the models are:
- M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4)
- Guitar 4000
- Frankie the cat
And as always, you are not limited to the models created by the LEGO development team. Your kids can come up with more models and program them as they want with the LEGO Boost app. I’m really hoping LEGO creates some sort of “show-off” or contest thread once it launches so we can see what kids come up with. Their imaginations are so limitless!
My Take on LEGO Boost
As you may know, I’m a web developer. I strongly believe there is something great about learning skills involved with programming at an early age. Programming, if taught right, teaches our children logical thinking skills that later on in life, will help them work through problems with much less stress than those who have never had the opportunity to work out a problem from beginning to end. Now, that’s just my opinion (and you’re partly here for my opinion, right?) So don’t flame me. ;)
So, to see two of my favorite things in an enticing package for smaller kids is awesome, as far as I’m concerned!
I would personally love to get my hands on the set and test it out with my girl. We picked up a Kano Computer Kit for her this Christmas, since she showed some interest in programming when she came to work with me one day. We were in the middle of an app launch. My coworker kindly sat with her and taught her some programming basics while I ran around the office like a chicken with my head cut off.
Suffice to say, she loved programming and was quite upset the day was over. I can only imagine how awesome she will think it is to be able to program LEGO bricks to do something!
We’ll keep you posted on what we decide to do!
For those of you interested in LEGO Boost, you will start seeing it in stores August 2017.