LEGO Boost is a great idea. Mindstorms is expensive and revolves around the LEGO Technic pieces which can be unapproachable for all, and downright dangerous for some. Boost will provide the heart of a robotics kit that works with those normal LEGO pieces that anyone with children has tubs of.
Just announced and not available until the middle of the year, the Boost kit will allow kids to turn bricks into moving, sensing robots. The kit, which will apparently be $160 in the USA, comes with instructions to build five different things out of the box: “Vernie the Robot, Frankie the Cat, the Guitar 4000, the Multi-Tool Rover 4 (M.T.R.4), and the Autobuilder.” But of course you could add on anything your imagination and stock of bricks allows for.
The core of the kit is a motor block, with tilt, colour and distance sensors. In one sense that really harks back to the original Mindstorms kit. But time has moved on and programming will be by app from a phone or tablet. The kit comes with 843 LEGO elements and a Playmat, “calibrated to the app, designed to facilitate mini challenges to practice simple coding trials”.
One of the most persistent questions here at GiS is about alternatives to Mindstorms, so I think Boost is likely to be enormously successful. We’ll have to wait and watch for Australian pricing which is likely to be, as always, at a significant premium to the US pricing.
For more information – mostly videos right now – see the Boost website.