Since it was announced at the CES 2017, LEGO Boost has been anticipated as finally filling the robotics curriculum gap left by the highly successful EV3. As we all know, most kids under a certain age are not up to the challenge of the many esoteric aspects of EV3 software, which is completely designed for adult engineers.
The truth is, we don’t even have to get innovative here. And LEGO was already falling behind in delivering a visual programming environment on a tablet. There are currently many robotic toys on the market which all follow the same formula: tablet+bluetooth+block programming language. One of the more well known of these is Dash & Dot, which uses Google’s Blockly platform.
But LEGO has one advantage that these competitors do not have: everybody knows LEGO.
Okay, so what about WeDo?
One question that everybody will ask, though, is this: what happened to the WeDo line of products? Is this supposed to replace or supplement the line?Well, I am not sure we have that executive decision made. The way I see it, Boost is clearly built on the WeDo platform, but is somewhat marketed differently. WeDo was never targeted for home users; most of the people who got this set got it from the education channel. This probably explains why WeDo users are never bothered by the lackluster design of the whole experience. I have a brief review of the product here. The following is a nice table comparing some of the technical differences between the two platforms.
The idea of LEGO education may have a certain aura for some, but for me it seems more like an awkward way to justify the exorbitant price of its products. WeDo 2.0 kit currently goes for $175.95: you need to pay more money for a third of the pieces in LEGO Boost! Perhaps the blue tray is really expensive!