It feels like robotics kits are everywhere these days, as companies compete to figure out the best way to turn basic robotics, electronics, and coding concepts into a toy or game to get kids to learn STEM skills under the guise of having fun.
Boson, from DRFRobot, is the latest of these, and it has all the trappings of a STEM learning toy: colorful plastic, simple design, and powerful possibilities for those willing to learn the system. At its core, Boson is a block coding tool similar to Tynker or Blockly, but built in the real world with various physically connected blocks instead of virtual representations.
The Boson modules are divided into four kinds, easily identifiable by color: blue ones are for inputs, green for outputs, yellow for functions, and pink for power. There’s no coding or soldering necessary to use Boson — just connect the blocks together, and you’re good to go.
The other selling point of Boson is the compatibility of the modules with other things. You can connect Boson modules to Lego bricks, screw them onto things, place them on a fridge with magnets, or velcro them to a wall.
DFRobot is selling four different kits of Boson modules, each focused on different projects — a basic Starter kit for $45, a Science kit for $109, a Coding kit for $109, and an Inventor kit for $139. There are also bundles of the Science and Inventor sets for $219, and the Science, Coding, and Inventor sets for $309. DFRobot has been around for a while selling various microcontrollers and electronic components, and has successfully ran a previous Kickstarter, so backing Boson is probably safer than most crowdfunded campaigns. That said, as always, you should use your best judgement when backing.
DFRobot hopes to ship the Boson kits in September and October.