Robots that focus on consumers have struggled a bit in recent years. Just last week, Anki, makers of the enchanting Cozmo and Vector bots, was the latest robot maker to go down when consumers were reluctant to spend $ 250 on a machine that did not really do anything. Lego's latest creation will not vacuum your floors either, but who has not thought about building and commanding their own droid army Star Wars ?
The Lego Star Wars Boost Droid Commander set is the first of The Toy Maker to combine a licensed property with its Boost robot platform, a more kid-friendly version of the company's highly engineered and powerful Mindstorms robotic kits. We fell in love with the Lego Boost Creative Toolbox when we tried it last year, but going one step further and building interactive versions of some of the most famous robots of all time is as good an excuse as anyone playing with it again Lego.
At $ 200, Star Wars The Boost Droid Commander set (available from September 1, 2019) is a bit more expensive than Ankis Cozmo, but it includes instructions and 1,177 pieces for the construction of three of the most recognizable bots of the franchise, including a mouse droid, a gonk droid, and R2 -D2. Each droid is powered by the included Lego Boost Move Hub, which can be swapped between each robot to bring it to life with movement, sound effects, and endless movie series music.
The Move Hub connects to an associated mobile app via Bluetooth, allowing each robot to be wirelessly controlled. However, there is also a degree of autonomy that can be added to any droid, as it can be extended with a color and distance sensor that helps them perceive their surroundings while walking. Will R2-D2 walk around your house, serve drinks or holographic messages from a princess? No, not even close by, but with the Lego Boost Star Wars app, you can program custom moves using a drag-and-drop coded interface that's child friendly and, above all, technologically sophisticated for adults.
Using Star Wars to secretly teach children the STEAM concepts (science, technology, technology, art and mathematics) is not a new idea. Toy companies like littleBits and Sphero have already tried it. However, the basic idea of Lego offers the company a big advantage, because if you get tired of R2-D2 or a Gonk droid stumbling in your living room, you can turn it into an infinite number of other robot creations. Lego could be exactly what the consumer robot needs right now. When a Lego Robotic Vacuum Cleaner finishes cleaning, you can rebuild it and reprogram it into a robotic puppy or robotic guard or whatever happens to be done by a robot for you.