LEGO Group announced at CES a supercharged building and coding set that lets kids add movement, sound and personality to their creations.
LEGO Boost, designed for children age 7 and up, provides a simple app-based environment using familiar LEGO elements and simple coding language.
“We know that children dream of bringing their LEGO creations to life, and our chief ambition for LEGO Boost is to fulfill that wish,” said Simon Kent, design lead for LEGO Group, in a press release. “Once children build a LEGO creation, we give them simple coding tools to ‘boost’ their models by adding personality. We want children to first and foremost have a fun and limitless play experience, adding the coding opportunity is the means to get there.”
Powered by a Move Hub, a LEGO stud-covered brick with built-in tilt sensor, the set includes building instructions for five models: Vernie the Robot, Frankie the Cat, the Guitar 4000, the Multi-Tool Rover 4 (M.T.R.4) and the Autobuilder.
“The first creation designed to be built out of the box is Vernie,” notes TechCrunch. “He has articulating facial features and will repeat your name back to you.”
The LEGO Boost app includes a “creative canvas” with building instructions for three simple base models:
- A walking base for making animals like a dragon or a pony
- A driving base for building vehicles like a dune buggy or rover
- An entrance base so that children can make their own castle, fort or futuristic space station.
The free, downloadable app is compatible with iOS and Android tablets.
The release follows the success of LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits, WeDo 2.0, launched last year to reach science and tech concepts to elementary students.
LEGO Boost “teaches kids how to “boost” Lego creations,” reports CNN. “Once they understand how the toy’s sensors work, it’s encouraged to build bases and add them to any creation.
LEGO Boost will be available in the second half of 2017 with a suggested retail price of $159.99.
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 4, 2017