Toy re­view: Lego Boost

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - PM

The new Lego Boost sets com­bine tra­di­tional Legos with a smart tablet, so kids can build and op­er­ate au­to­mated Lego ro­bots. 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 11. Read on.

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. 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 Legoss from your ipad is the coolest est part of the set though. You don’t just roll it aroundd with your hand, you can move ove it us­ing the app. We’ve been een play­ing with Legos for­ever, ver, and we still play with them a lot. I think we would play with this set again in the fu­ture. ure. CAR­SON: Yeah, I liked it. There’s def­i­nite­lyly a lot of po­ten­tial with this his app, and I think over­all rall it added a cool new w as­pect to play­ing ng with Legos. It’s a new con­cept and d I think it’s re­ally y in­ter­est­ing. CAN­NAN: Same. .

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