LEGO have been making moving motorised models for more than 15 years, and have already released a range of robots that you can program at home. However, the drawback with these models was that you needed to have at least a functioning understanding of coding before you could use them. However, LEGO Boost aims to make that same programming process far easier, and far more accessible to children.
So, how are they going to make it easier? First off, the programmable components come separately and link together in a much easier way. You can command these blocks from the companion app, another new feature that LEGO have yet to experiment with when it comes to their robots. The app will take you through a series of tutorials, asking you to build a basic entry model, before gradually becoming more complicated using the same concepts. The goal is to get to a level of understanding with both the app and the bricks that you can go off and make your own marvellous creations.
Once you have the basic LEGO Boost blocks together and working, you can now use your normal LEGO to build on top. Previous models only worked with LEGO Technics, which is notoriously far harder to improvise with, especially for children. But with the introduction of the famous versatile LEGO studs, you can combine the LEGO, and perhaps some of the models, you already have and bring them to life.
Set for release in August 2017, the set will come in a $160 starter box that features everything you need to make your robot, including the three key Boost bricks as well as 800 other blocks. The instruction manual shows you how to build any of the five different starter models. With the concept, price, and prototypes already out in the open, it’s not clear why LEGO are waiting until August to roll out LEGO Boost, but hopefully it is to make sure that they get everything right and working before the general release.
LEGO Boost might not be the only robot-building package available, check out MODI too if programming these devices is your thing.