This product, unlike the LEGO WeDo series created for educational purposes, was designed for individual customers — children and their parents. RoboCamp team decided to check how far the differences go.
Generally, user reviews are rather disapproving. Interestingly, the testing process involved some unforeseen adventures. First, we received a set without several parts, so we had to wait for another LEGO package. Then, the dedicated app simply refused to work with any of our tablets.
Fortunately, several system updates later, we managed to run LEGO Boost app on Windows 10 laptop computer and finally, test the product. What are its advantages and weaknesses? Is it only for home-use, or can you introduce it to the classroom? Can Boost compete with WeDo? How does it compare? In this article, we try to answer these questions and many others. LEGO Boost set is recommended for children 7 to 12 years old. You also need a tablet to run the app. Since November, several devices with Windows 10 OS can also be used.
There are no paper instructions inside the box. According to the picture guide on the box, one must download and install the LEGO Boost app in order to fully make use of the set. The app provides several robot building instructions and, of course, programming software with tasks to complete.
Besides the bricks, physical contents include a cardboard mat for testing, which you can use when playing with robots. Actually, several tasks in the app strongly suggest you do. The back of the mat provides a long, but not exactly readable, list of elements. The packaging is a one-off cardboard box. This box choice is quite characteristic of LEGO. While this logic is understandable when it comes to the traditional sets in the end, all bricks end up in one containera robotics set, with unique electronic and construction parts, should be kept separate.
Whether you plan to use it at home, or at school, the character of this set requires purchasing additional storage box. The elements will be kept safe, the building process will be easier and you will even be able to sort the bricks. The set comes with an impressive amount of bricks. However, as soon as you start working with the set, this outrageous number of parts becomes a problem. The search for one particular element can be tiresome and frustrating, especially in the absence of any storage box, or sorting system.
Bricks are greatly diverse — the set includes different kinds of elements. You can find classic bricks and plates, but also elements introduced in the Technic series: beams, pins, axles, or cogwheels. Those looking for unusual parts will be interested by angle connectors, steering links, turntables and arrow shooter.The entire family are huge Lego fans. We did a Mindstorms class at LegoLand FL last year and was looking forward for something like this to arrive for my son. He is 8 years old and is a massive Lego fanatic.
He built and coded Vernie the robot almost completely by himself. I rarely review Lego sets but the Lego Boost set warrants it. It is absolutely fantastic. We have an Ipad at home so we didn't have any issues with the app. Every aspect of this set has worked flawlessly for us. It isn't a cheap set but, in my opinion, it is well worth the money. It teaches kids basic coding and I think that's important for the future. I am really impressed.
I hope that there will be more Lego Boost sets in the future. My son has not stopped raving about it and can't wait to continue coding Vernie and eventually move on to one of the other 4 builds that can be built with this set.
Bought this set for my 9 year old daughter for xmas, to say she is pleased with it would be a massive understatement. She hasn't put it down since xmas day and has already built the main models and coded them and has now moved on to the creative canvas on the app, she has also managed to work out how to use the Lego boost motors and app and built a Ferris wheel for her Lego figures using pieces from other sets. Some parts of the builds could be quite difficult for a novice builder but as my daughter has been building Lego friends sets since she was 4 years old she had no problem.
Overall I'm very impressed with the Lego boost set my daughter loves it and enjoys building Lego whilst also improving her ICT skills by coding on the app. Well done Lego on another great fun but also educational set. I bought this set, as I wanted a fun activity during this covid homeschooling period. I have 10y old twin daughters. They both loved it.
We very quickly built the robot and the guitar.Enjoy more than 60 fun activities with simple drag-n'-drop coding, watch videos and access digital LEGO Building Instructions. Have fun with LEGO models that can move, talk and respond to real-world events. Take your experience to another level with advanced coding.
Is your device compatible? Please go to LEGO. Kick-start your creativity—3 inspirational models included with the app. Use the app to operate the forklift, examine samples with the color sensor, help the whale back into the water and much more.
Use the app to control the fearsome beast, fire the shooters, create a color-sensing ejector seat and much more! Be sure to feed it the right food—or it might get upset!
Our six year old is really enjoying the Lego Boost set and building like never before. The way it builds in stages and expands functionality really works. Have not gotten through all the builds or programming yet but it asked for a rating. I would say I am really impressed so far. I figure if you select a block maybe it should offer help to describe the blocks functionality. The original goal was to not share the definitions of the coding blocks because we have seen that children's inquisitive nature helps them learn successfully through trial and error.
While that was our original thought we do recognize that some builders will also benefit from having so help understanding the coding blocks. Loose descriptions of the coding blocks have been added to our website to assist those kids.
However, ever since the update to version 1. I tried deleting and reinstalling the app, and even did a complete factory reset on the iPad itself, but the app still crashes every time.
The Lego Boost Creative Toolbox itself is a wonderful set, my kids love it, and fortunately we have another device that they can operate it with. But, if you are considering purchasing the set to use with a 4th gen iPad, I recommend downloading the app first to make sure that it works. The app has not worked well at all. Every time my child gets through a section of building the app either does not store where he left off and locks the level again or it brings up a settings box but not the primary settings box for app-which is empty that will not go away.
When you try to close out the settings the last check mark takes you to the webpage and will not close to continue to next section. We paid a lot of money for the robot set, which did not come with paper instructions as a back up. The app needs to be functional. Hi there, Oh no, that's not fun. Requires iOS Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
App Store Preview. Screenshots iPhone iPad iMessage. Nov 20, Version 1. Bug fixes. Ratings and Reviews See All.You can make a guitar that plays sound effects, a cat that purrs and interacts with you, or a robot that you can make move and talk. The projects are animated using an icon-based coding app, which teaches kids basic coding commands and concepts. To test the new smart Legos, we enlisted the help of two extraordinary young men: Carson Huey-You, 14, who graduated from Texas Christian University this past May with a degree in physics, and his brother, Cannan, 11, who graduated from high school the same month.
So, once again: Carson graduated college at 14, Cannan graduated high school at Carson : When we opened the box, we looked at the app and we looked at all the different things you could do. Then once we started building, we were able to connect it to the app and start controlling it.
We built a little car with a propeller, and then with the iPad app we were able to connect and make it roll around in different directions and do other cool things. Cannan : The app was easy to use.
LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox 2017 (17101)
It had a pretty simple interface. It was maybe a little bit for younger kids, but not too bad. It didn't use any crazy coding or anything. It was pretty easy to figure out. Carson : Yeah, it's not super-duper advanced, but that's a good thing. You don't get overwhelmed. For an introductory programming experience, where you're telling something to do this or not do that, I think it's good. Cannan : You don't have to jump right into the advanced stuff, like the Lego Mindstorms sets.
You could definitely use the pieces in this set to make other things too, not just the cat or the robot.
There are a lot of other pieces, like a conveyor belt and a motion sensor and a propeller. Carson : The one bad part is, if you don't have an iPad or another platform the app works on, it would be impossible to use this set. Cannan : That you can control the Legos from your iPad is the coolest part of the set though. You don't just roll it around with your hand, you can move it using the app.
LEGO Boost Robot Creativ (17101) LEGO
We've been playing with Legos forever, and we still play with them a lot. I think we would play with this set again in the future. Carson : Yeah, I liked it. There's definitely a lot of potential with this app, and I think overall it added a cool new aspect to playing with Legos. It's a new concept and I think it's really interesting. Cannan : Same. This story appears in the September issue of Popular Mechanics. Type keyword s to search.
Today's Top Stories. Max Burkhalter. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. More From Gadget Reviews.The best robot kit for younger kids, Lego Boost turns programming into a game your child will want to play. Toys that teach kids to code are as hot in as Cabbage Patch Kids were inand for good reason. For today's generation of children, learning how to program is even more important than studying a second language.
Though there are many robot kits on the market that are designed for this purpose, Lego Boost is the best tech-learning tool we've seen for kids. The Hub connects to your tablet via Bluetooth, to receive your programming code, and to the other two electronic components via wires. You can build five different robots with the kit: a humanoid robot named Vernie, Frankie the Cat, the Guitar which plays real musica forklift called the "M.
Lego said that it expects most users to start with Vernie, who looks like a cross between film robots Johnny No. To get started building and coding, kids have to download the Boost app to their iPad or Android tablets. You'll need to have the app running and connected to the Move hub every time you use the robot. All of the processing and programming takes place on your mobile device, and the sound effects music, the robot talking will come out of your tablet's speaker, not the robot itself.
Lego really understands how young children learn and has designed the perfect interface for them. The Boost app strikes a balance among simplicity, depth and fun. Boost is officially targeted at 7- to year-olds, but the software is so intuitive and engaging that, within minutes of seeing the system, my 5-year-old was writing his own programs and begging me to extend his bedtime so he could discover more.
Neither the interface nor the block-based programming language contains any written words, so even children who can't read can use every feature of the app. When you launch Boost, you're first shown a cartoonish menu screen that looks like a room with all the different possible robots sitting in different spots.
You just tap on the image of the robot you want to build or program, and you're given a set of activities that begin with building the most basic parts of the project and coding them. As you navigate through the Boost program, you need to complete the simplest levels within each robot section before you can unlock the more complicated ones.
Any child who has played video games is familiar with and motivated by the concept of unlocking new features by successfully completing old ones. This level-based system turns the entire learning process into a game and also keeps kids from getting frustrated by trying advanced concepts before they're ready. Boost runs on modern iPads or Android devices that have at least a 1. I also downloaded Boost to a smartphone, but the screen was so small that it was difficult to make out some of the diagrams.
It is also available for Fire Tablets it wasn't at launch. When you load the Boost app for the first time, you need to complete a simple project that involves making a small buggy before you can build any of the five robots. This initial build is pretty fast, because it involves only basic things like putting wheels onto the car, programming it to move forward and attaching a small fan in the back.
LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox 17101 Coding STEM Set
Like the robot projects that come after it, the buggy build is broken down into three separate challenges, each of which builds on the prior one. The first challenge involves building the buggy and programming it to roll forward. Subsequent challenges involve programming the vehicle's infrared sensor and making the fan in the back move. After you've completed all three buggy challenges, the five regular robots are unlocked.
Each robot has several levels within it, each of which contains challenges that you must complete. For example, Vernie's first level has three challenges that help you build him and use his basic functions, while the second level has you add a rocket launcher to his body and program him to shoot.
If a challenge includes building or adding blocks to a robot, it gives you step-by-step instructions that show you which blocks go where, and only after you've gone through these steps do you get to the programming portion. When it's time to code, the app shows animations of a finger dragging the coding blocks from a palette on the bottom of the screen up onto the canvas, placing them next to each other and hitting a play button to run the program.
This lets the user know exactly what to do at every step, but also offers the ability to experiment by modifying the programs at the end of each challenge.
In Vernie's case, each of the first-level challenges involve building part of his body. Lego Design Director Simon Kent explained to us that, because a full build can take hours, the company wants children to be able to start programming before they're even finished.We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers. Robots were once the stuff of sci-fi fantasy, but today, you can build your own working robot using LEGO bricks.
Both kids and adults can enjoy and learn new things from a LEGO robot kit. The question is, how do you pick the right LEGO robot kit to fit your needs? First and foremost, consider who will be using the kit. Where do their interests lie? All this can seem a bit daunting, especially if you're not familiar with LEGO robot kits.
At BestReviews, it's our mission to aid you, the consumer, in finding the products that best meet your needs. We perform extensive research via lab testing, expert consultation, and chats with real consumers. Read on for our full guide to LEGO robot kits, or scroll up to the product list to see our five favorite kits available today.
You'll find two main types of LEGO robot kits for sale: programmable robot kits and model robot kits. You can program, or "code," your finished robot via an app for tablet or smartphone or a program for PC or Mac. LEGO robots made with programmable kits can move independently. While model LEGO robots don't have motors or the ability to move independently, some do have moving parts.
Some LEGO robot kits require use of a tablet rather than just a smartphone. Before you buy, make sure you have the right device on hand, since the app is essential. Before you purchase a specific kit, it helps to find out as much as you can about the product. The following questions give you a good place to start. One of the first factors to consider is the age of the person you're buying for and the recommended age range of the kit.
LEGO Boost robot kits, for instance, are recommended for ages seven to LEGO Mindstorms kits are designed for ages 10 and up. The Boost coding app is completely icon-based and very intuitive, so even complete coding beginners can enjoy it. The coding app that comes with LEGO Boost robot kits is word-free, so it's even suitable for children who haven't learned to read yet. If you want to build a robot that can move on its own, it will need to have a motor.
Check your chosen LEGO robot kit to make sure it has a motor. Some kits contain multiple motors so you can create more complex robots. Interested in a programmable LEGO robot kit? Yes, a programmable LEGO robot kit will absolutely help your child learn to code. LEGO Boost kits are designed for younger children, so they teach only the most basic rules of coding using drag-and-drop icons.
The user can learn a lot about coding while creating robots that perform a wide range of tasks. There's no reason why adults can't use LEGO robot kits.Yes, please. But while I had to direct the complicated builds, controlling the finished robots and vehicles with the iPad app was well within his grasp—and so much fun for both of us. Lego Boost teaches kids in two ways: The builds themselves are a lesson in mechanics, showing how the motor, gears, and pieces fit together to make a moving robot.
Plus, the tablet app is full of programming challenges to direct the robot to do what you want him to do. One Lego Boost kit lets you make five robots, one at a time. The Move Hub also has a couple of ports, where you connect wires from two other special Lego pieces.
One is a motor, and can turn wheels, control arms and legs, and so on. The other is a sensor that can be used for input—you can program the robot to react when he sees or hears something. Then you get to use the iPad to turn him on and have him say hi before you plunge into next phase, building his wheels. I like how the app breaks things up a little like this, because the complex builds took me a while, even working alone and moving quickly.
Everything he can do is represented as a little puzzle piece in a toolbar along the bottom. Kids can drag pieces into the programming area, string them together, and then press Play to have the robot act out each step. Lego Boost also comes with a play mat you can use to help you design your programs.
The mat is divided into a grid, so when you program a movable robot to go forward once, it moves one space on the grid. That way, kids can decide where they want the robot to go, and then count how many times it needs to go forward and where it should turn. My son and two other 5-year-olds had no problem figuring this out, and needed very little help from me once the robot was actually built.
Since it's designed for kids 7—12, Lego Boost should be easier to grasp than Lego Mindstorms, which is for kids 10 and up and uses more complicated programming methods. My team of 5-year-old testers did great with Lego Boost, though, and they never got sick of it, because the app has extra challenges you can do with each robot. Playing each challenge unlocks the next, although my son quickly figured out he could just tap Next all the way through challenges in order to unlock the next build.
We did eventually go back and play them all. Each of them winds up being cute as well as relatively tough. They broke if the kids were extra rough with them, but they also survived a lot of bumps and crashes that I thought would do more damage. Lego Boost has tons of replayability, too.