Lego Boosts Their Robotic Offering

Kids often have their first exposure to robots in school using Lego Mindstorm kits. Now Lego is rolling out Boost — a robotic kit targeting all Lego builders from 7 years old and up. The kit is scheduled to be on the market later this year (it appeared at the recent CES) and will sell for about $160.

[The Brothers Brick] had a chance to try the kit out at CES (see the video below) and you might find their review interesting. The kit provides parts and instructions to build five different models: a cat, a robot, a guitar, a 3D printer, and a tracked vehicle. You can check out the official page, too.

boostThe system communicates with an Apple or Android tablet via Bluetooth. The review notes that the programming language is a bit simplistic, allowing actions to occur due to stimulus, but no real conditional tests and branches. In addition to motor control, the device comes with blocks that can sense motion and color (see right). Builders can integrate the blocks with other Lego designs, too.

We’ve seen lots of additions and enhancements to Mindstorms (along with lots of interesting applications). It will be interesting to see what hacks appear for Boost.

22 thoughts on “Lego Boosts Their Robotic Offering

      1. No doubt they were expensive even then. Most people forget the quality is noticeably different compared to similar brick products. The competition is getting better, but it’s still not consistently on the same level as LEGO.

        Kids get frustrated more often with the cheap knock offs (those dollar store kits? Melt ’em down. They’re worthless) than LEGO. To prove my point, I let the kids play with my 20+ year old LEGOS and they had a blast. The following week, we went to grandmas that has a larger collection of MEGA BLOCKS collected over the last 10 years or so. After about an evening of play, the kids begged me to bring the LEGOS next time.

        Will all kids notice the difference? I don’t know. I just know that this is one of those things where quality really matters.

        1. Absolutely right on all points. LEGO is by far a superior quality product in every respect, and to all other competitors. As a Technic enthusiast the only comparable quality construction system is the german Fishertechnik although this is a bit dated these days. Kids do know how well the LEGO bricks fit together compared to the cheap knockoffs, and it’s evedent just by examining any one you care to picik up. The almost complete lack of molding marks, sink marks, color variances and so on. Blocks made in the 1970s still clip together just fine with ones made recently.
          Yes LEGO is certainly more expensive – I’ve spent way more than I want to think about – but it will literally last a lifetime. A way to save money is to join a LEGO club (ie. AFOL – Adult Friends Of LEGO) and also buy bricks and elements from BrickLink or other large online marketplaces as they are just about always cheaper than eBay.

    1. LEGO Robotics never had competition (I mean other 3rd party electronics that work with Lego Technic) Their old NXT brick is based of off something from Atmel. You know how i know? i plugged into my computer that had arduino driver software running and the thing was dead (clicking syndrome). The EV3 brick is a linux computer, comparable to RPi. Both the EV3 and NXT would cost +100 to buy a replacement. China has not offered any alternative interface despite the fact that both bricks us i2c to communicate. This https://shop.lego.com/en-US/EV3-Intelligent-Brick-45500 is just an RPi in a plastic case with buttons and screen. NO CHEAP CHINESE EQUIVLENT.

    1. you can actually reflash the rcx firmware with straight c. running on the bare metal makes for far faster execution, so fast in fact, that someone actually got a pid loop for a lego segway robot working. Still programs by infrared too. man that was a long time ago.

  1. This looks interesting. Not as cool as Mindstorms or technics, but if I was 8 again,this would be sweet.

    Meccano is more explainable as an adult toy, so I’m slowly collecting Meccano bits for an Arduino-based robotics platform. And yanking stepper motors out of old CD drives etc.

  2. All y’all winging about this kit being too expensive… at least your kids or whatever can play with it multiple times and actually learn something…
    The lego deathstar is £409!!!!!!! Now that, is a rip off.

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