First revealed back in May, Lego’s Star Wars Boost Droid Commander set builds on the toymaker’s Boost robotics platform which is a more kid-friendly version of its complex robotic Mindstorms kits. The set is finally available this month, and to prove that kid-friendly doesn’t also mean very limited, the company programmed 95 Lego droids to create an orchestra that plays real instruments.
The conductor and programmer of the orchestra was Sam Battle who is probably best known for his Look Mum no Computer YouTube channel where he shares builds of custom and often bewilderingly complex electronic instruments — like an organ made from 44 screaming Furby toys.
His collaboration with Lego took over 3,000 hours to realise and required the creation of many custom interfaces because, not surprisingly, out of the box the droids weren’t pre-programmed or engineered to play cellos and other instruments.
All in all the 95 droids — which included 46 R2-D2s, 26 mouse droids and 23 gonk droids — performed John Williams’ iconic Star Wars Main Title theme on 10 xylophones, 10 violins, four cellos, eight electronic keyboards, six electric drums, two gongs, two sets of chimes, two floor drums and a pair of cymbals.
The results probably aren’t going to end up played under the opening credits of The Rise of Skywalker in a few months, but for a bunch of plastic toy robots, the performance easily outshines the last piano recital you were forced to attend.