Beth Klein suggests – Program a Lego Robot

Lots of people are switching off social media and finding time to gather with friends and explore new ideas.

Here is a suggestion.  Host a “Program a Lego Robot” Party.  You may be surprised at your ability to intuitively program a robot.

This year Lego is selling Boost, a basic robotics- and programming-oriented kit that’s playful.  Boost is built around a motorized block called a Move Hub, powered by six AAA batteries and equipped with a tilt sensor. You can pick from five major building projects: a foot-high anthropomorphic robot called Vernie, a mechanical cat named Frankie; a colorful guitar; a tractor-like vehicle; and the “Autobuilder,” a 3D printer-like machine that can be programmed to put Lego together.

During the construction process, the app introduces new builders to the simple programming interface: a series of puzzle pieces representing different actions, which can be chained together and triggered by a tap of the screen or a real-world action.  You will actually learn just by tinkering with it.

You can program Vernie to dance and shake maracas, to shoot a small projectile at a target, or to hold a conversation using preset lines.  Frankie “plays” a Lego harmonica by detecting when different colors hit the sensor over its mouth, then playing a sound that’s linked to that color, including recorded audio.

Robotics and AI can be understood and a lot of fun.  Have a breakthrough in your relationship with these realms in 2017 with friends.


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