Anyone who’s been following Stuff will know we’re huge fans of STEM-focused toys (that stands for Science, Tech, Engineering and Mathematics). That’s because we love tech and what better way to introduce kids to this exciting world than through play?
So we were stoked to hear that Lego’s got a new STEM robot, and even more so to get our hands on one. The Lego Boost is a 5-in-1 construction kit that allows kids to build and do some basic coding to get their Lego robot moving. It’s far simpler than the ambitious Lego Mindstorm, but still good fun for the young ones. Here's why.
5 times the fun
Kids shouldn’t find themselves getting bored with Lego Boost. If one model gets boring, there are another four alternatives to choose from and rebuild.
Vernie is a Wall-E lookalike that talks, dances, drives around at your service. As the cover boy of Lego Boost, he’s been gifted the bulk of the features and impresses the most. Vernie can race around, smash through Lego cones, shake hands, greet you and charmingly make fart noises. He even talks, though this is done through your iPad. A little disorienting, but when most of what he says is flattery for his master, who’s complaining?
In terms of sheer innovation and creativity, the Guitar 4000 impresses. The size of a small Ukulele, it has a lever for strumming and a slideable fret-like control to adjust chords. It does this by measuring the distance as you slide back and forth, changing chords accordingly. That’s amazing. It’s like power chords on an electric guitar. If your parents happen to give you a Lego Boost and you feel a bit too old for it - this is the one to try out.
What’s the point of Lego if it builds itself? As self-defeating as the Autobuilder sounds, it’s the fastest way you’ll get your army of Lego robot minions built. Don’t expect a sophisticated droid factory though, it only stacks Lego pieces vertically.
The mechanism behind the facial features of Frankie the Cat alone are a feat to behold. The eyes, brows and ears that shift around give it real character and should be something the kids are hugely entertained by.
Perhaps the least interesting of all is the multi-purpose vehicle, MTR 4. It drives around and picks stuff up, and not much else. Gear-heads should still find this one worth a try though.
All the models are powered by a Bluetooth-enabled motorised hub that packs a surprising amount of tech. It makes parts move with its motors, and provides power to a sensor hub that recognises sound, colour and proximity. The many features housed within give Lego Boost a lot of versatility and long list of cool capabilities.