Legos have been a beloved for decades as toys that teach constructive aesthetics and foster DIY creativity. Then the company started releasing Mindstorm kits to turn static models into moving robots with a little programming magic -- but these were always aimed at older kids with some tinkering prowess. Algobrix, a brick-based system going live on Kickstarter today, aims to teach block-loving children the elements of coding without having to touch a computer. Algobrix is a core set of function blocks labeled with symbols, not letters, so your early learners can figure them out before they've built up their vocabulary. Line them up the blocks railroad-style, hit "go" and your brick-built "Algobot" follows the instructions to move around, play audio or light up.
The event welcomed over 1,000 attendees, including children and their parents. This was the 2nd time Robo Done has celebrated the festival. In only one year, the number of attendees has increased threefold (350 attendees in 2016 to over 1,012 in 2017). It was celebrated in the KANDAI MeRise Campus of the Kansai University in Osaka, Japan and has become the biggest event at the campus. The main activity was the Robot Contest, using LEGO Mindstorm, with morning and afternoon leagues.
For some people, rummaging through a bunch of Lego bricks is part of the fun. But if you've got an enormous collection or take on complicated builds, you probably have a system for sorting your pieces. Your solution probably doesn't involve AI, though. YouTube user Daniel West combined his love for Lego with his engineering skills to build a universal Lego sorter that uses a neural network to identify, classify and organize the plastic pieces more efficiently than a human could. The universal Lego sorter -- which is made up of 10,000 Lego bricks -- took two years to design, build and perfect.
CES is full of robots, but Lego robots...well, that doesn't happen every year. Educational codable robot toys have been a mega-trend in kid tech over the last year, from Jimu to Cozmo. Lego has had its own Mindstorm educational robotics kit for years, but its pieces come from the older-skewed Technics sets, as opposed to the piles of multicolored bricks everyone's basements are full of. Lego Boost is the idea that Lego was overdue to debut. It's a set of motors and programmable bricks that can work with existing Lego kits and turn them into motorized or motion-sensitive toys.