Wondering what happened to Erector sets? The building toy was low-key for a while before bursting onto the stage at CES this year with Meccanoid. That’s right—the kids of today will be building robots with their Erector sets. In fact, this one look likes the real Johnny 5 (the robot from the movie Short Circuit for those to young to remember). Try not to get too jealous.
Tara Tucker of Spinmaster, the company that acquired the Meccano/Erector license, sat down with Andrea Smith of MommyTech TV to talk about Meccanoid, a new robot buddy that kids can build from the ground up—with real nuts and bolts! The sets come with everything needed to build the robot and get him wired up to a central unit that controls Meccanoid’s movements. He can wave his arms, tilt his head, and even repeat phrases that you can record in your own voice or in a proper robotic voice, for the genuine experience.
Kids are excited by robots almost by default. The trick is getting them excited about building robots, and it looks like Meccanoid might be just the right man for the job. With clear instructions and an easy-to-use controller that lets kids program different movements and actions in addition to the stuff Meccanoid already knows how to do out of the box, like playing games or giving high fives. The latter will be well-deserved after an engineering job well done.