Using the term “programming” is a dubious claim with
BOOST. The drag-n-drop clickable control elements used by
the BOOST software are more akin to remote control rather
than autonomous programming (see Figure 4).
Basically, you connect a series of control elements
together in a linear fashion and toggle a “go” button to
initiate the sequence. Sure, there are some interactive
control points (e.g., follow a line, gauge a distance, listen
for a sound, etc.), but programmable logic is missing.
Since BOOST is marketed at robot-building beginner’s
aged 7-12, this omission is acceptable.
This dependence on a tablet is not all bad news for
BOOST, however. In a clever packaging decision, LEGO
has piggybacked the robot’s “voice” and “ears” functions
(as shown in Figure 5) onto the tablet’s speaker and
microphone audio ports. Therefore, the complexity and
construction costs for building the Move Hub (see Figure 6)
were reduced, contributing to the lower cost for the
Creative Toolbox kit. And since you must always have the
tablet handily within Bluetooth transmission/reception
range for operating the BOOST system, you will likewise
have the speaker and microphone available for interacting
with your robot.
32 SERVO 10.2017
Figure 5. The microphone and speaker control
elements are handled by the connected tablet and
not through the BOOST Move Hub brick.
Figure 6. The Move Hub brick has four connection ports (two ports
are six-pin plugs and two ports are motor axles). Port D is
pictured near the top of the Move Hub, and one of the motor axles
(the red axle connector) is visible on the brick’s bottom right.
Figure 4. Controlling the robot is accomplished with this
simple snap-together set of control elements that are
arranged into a linear program.
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