Boost programming block decoder

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LEGO Boost 17101 Creative Toolbox has been out for a couple of months now and I believe it has been well received, apart from it being a bit picky about what devices the app will run on. It's certainly collected up a number of awards and appears in Amazon's most wanted list of Christmas toys.

Unfortunately, with so much happening in the LEGO world since its release I have not had an opportunity to use and experiment with it since I posted my first impressions. One thing that did frustrate me early on, though, was making sense of the 'hieroglyphics' used on the programming blocks, which in many cases are not intuitive.

I suspect kids are happy to drag and drop and experiment but I like a bit of documentation so I was pleased to find just what I wanted in the LEGO Boost Community group on Facebook today: a crib sheet sent out by LEGO Customer Services to those that ask for it. I have uploaded here for your convenience.

I can't think why, but it's possible that LEGO does not want it widely available, otherwise it would have put it on the Boost site at LEGO.com. If that's the case I'll probably be asked to remove it from here. So, I suggest you download it now if it's of interest.

 

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12 comments on this article

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By in Germany,

This is really good! Thanks for sharing!

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By in Norway,

Maybe they are just worried about bad press for "inspiration" from Scratch Jr with flags, arrows, color codes and stuff.
http://www.scratchjr.org/

But great posting it, still on the fence if worthwhile - got a Sparki bot that has seen limited uptake, so unsure if this will fare better

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By in United States,

Thank you so much! Still not sure whether or not to get Boost but definitely glad to have the documentation. Nice to be able to sit down and write a program I'd actually want to use rather than spend a lot of time I don't really have in order to learn the code from scratch!

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By in United States,

@sparrownest, If you look under "About" in the link you gave, you'll find that the LEGO Foundation has supported Scratch Jr, so I doubt they are competing.

I would guess that there isn't any text labels in the app because of the target audience. Since LEGO Boost is rated for ages 7-12, it's important to use simple terms and ideas to describe or illustrate what a function does, and so pictures would seem like the perfect thing to use. I suppose the issue of the pictures is the clarity of it and whether it describes it well.

This can also explain why the app is only available on tablets and not smartphones, because smartphones have smaller screens and it would be difficult to see the pictures. Even if the images were increased in size, it then limits the size of the programming work space, and involve more scrolling just to navigate the app.

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By in Germany,

cool! thank you!

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By in Luxembourg,

Ok this might be a stupid question... I’m not at all into programming or anything, but I’ve alwsys wanted to try an easy way to program trains on a layout. Is boost an easy way to do something like that?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Not really as the motor isn't suitable for using in a train.

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By in Luxembourg,

^ thats a shame! Btw for those in Germany/Luxembourg the Vedes toy shops are selling the set for 135€ At the moment

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By in Netherlands,

The third line in the crib sheet has a spelling/printing error: nuber instead of number. TLG: the largest toy manufacturer in the world and nobody to check the publications before they're made public??? Amazing....

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By in Norway,

@Agent00Z I know they have given token donations earlier,
but what a missed chance to make a compatible and open toolset - that works great with Boost, but could also just play out as animated steps / movie

The Playgrounds app from Apple for learning Swift coding supports EV3, Parrot and more - in addition to being just a digital tool. So they could also have collaborated that way from day one

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By in France,

holy s??t, it looks more complicated than your average programming language.

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By in United States,

@sparrownest, Interesting. That would indeed be a great programming opportunity.

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