LEGO Announces Boost, a new line designed to help kids learn to code through play.
One company you may not be expecting to see at CES this weekend is LEGO. The toymaker has used the platform to announce their newest brand dubbed Boost. Similar to their Mindstorms products, Boost will allow builders to build robots from LEGO pieces and program them. Aimed at builders seven and up it combines LEGO bricks, motorized parts, sensors, and an app to teach kids to code through play.
The Boost line features five different models: Vernie the Robot, a moving and talking robot; the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4), a robust rover with four 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; or the AutoBuilder, an automated production line that can build miniature LEGO models. Once you have built a model you can add to it or modify it using LEGO bricks you already own.
There is a companion app which you will need to build and program your model. It walks the user through pairing your device, building the models, and coding their actions. The coding is done through icon based commands that teach the logic of coding through actions. Users can string together actions and teach their robot activities. The icons make it easy for kids to comprehend and make connections between commands and actions. Teach your robot to respond to sound, to talk, or even shoot at targets. LEGO wants Boost to be a toy that helps kids think creatively.
Lego Boost will be available in August. The starter kit will be $160 USD and will include 840 LEGO pieces to build your choice of the five different figures as well as an interactive motor, the LEGO Move hub, and color and distance sensor.