Wait, what? Am I hearing this right? A Lego Cat?”
In a word, yes!
Apparently, there is not just Frankie, the Lego Cat but 4 other possibilities, including a small tractor, Vernie, a lego humanoid robot standing at 1 foot tall, a colorful guitar and a 3D printer called Autobuild capable of creating its own Lego creations. Talk about self sufficient huh?
It’s a new era in the realm of Lego construction. Thanks to the new Lego Boost, a set Designed by Lego which was unveiled at CES 2017. It is for people who want more out of their Lego creations and for kids to make their toys their toys more interactive. Mindstorms was a robotics platform to help people design tools and gadgets, but it required too much prior knowledge of robotics and technology such as designing. The Boost set will not be taking its place and is just meant to be a separate way to enjoy the endless possibilities of Lego.
The Boost set features a central piece that is known as the Move Hub that is fitted with a tilt sensor that allows maneuverability of the objects created with the help of additional Lego pieces. There are a total of six AAA batteries needed for the Boost Kit to function. It also has a color and distance sensor, a separate interactive motor and 843 Lego blocks.
An android or iOS tablet or a phone is needed to install an app that comes with the Boost set which will make interaction possible. It may be worthwhile to know at this point that there was a tool known as Lego WeDo which helped kids get acquainted with the basics of coding. The app functions as a programming tool and building guide.
The app acts similarly to the Lego WeDo tool in some ways as it allows the user to have a programming interface by which the app will show what actions the toys are capable of. Some actions can be grouped together so the toys can perform the actions easily and in the selected sequence. The actions can be performed either with the tap of a capacitive button, gesture or by speaking into the microphone of the tablet or phone. A Build your own robotic creature and vehicles option is also available in the app, but that is secondary. Lego bricks from other sets can also be used if the available ones in the Boost set fall short.
For example, Frankie can be programmed to play a Lego Harmonica by sensing the colors on it with the color sensor attached to its mouth and playing the corresponding sound. The guitar is basically using the same principle to play tunes. The humanoid Lego Robot Vernie can throw a small ball, talk using prefabricated lines and play the maracas that you build for it and dance along to the tunes being played.
The Boost Lego set which is all set to be released in August, 2017 at a starting price of $159.99. Will you be buying it?