A robot that is artificially intelligent, listens to your commands, and interacts with emotional responses sounds like something straight out of a ’90s sci-fi film—but not anymore.
Behold, in all its glory: Meccano M.A.X. from Spin Master, a tiny, personable, and curious robot that learns as kids play with him.
Don’t be fooled by his looks! Even though he stands only about a foot tall—just half the size of last year’s Meccanoid 2.0—this iteration of the Meccano robot—designed for kids ages 10 and up–is the most advanced yet.
The only thing better than having your own robot is building it yourself. Kids will construct M.A.X. from scratch using 332 pieces, and once he’s built, they can interact with him in really cool ways. Unlike past Meccano builds, M.A.X.’s building time is cut in half, and will take kids between one to three hours to build. The included booklet features clear, step-by-step instructions with detailed photos and diagrams for a seamless assembly. The box also comes with Meccano’s signature screwdriver and wrench, so no outside tools are necessary.
Pro tip: I know you’re as excited as I was to start playing with your robot, but make sure to take your time! I without fail get too eager and always jump ahead of the directions, and then always have to go back!
Building M.A.X. is truly just the beginning. Now, kids have their own personal robot—and I mean personal. M.A.X. uses advanced technology to combine artificial intelligence with robotics, so each robot will be personalized to each kid based on how they interact and play with him.
It’s important to download M.A.X.’s base level of knowledge into his mind before kids start playing with their newly-built bot. Simply download his software on the Meccano website and upload it to his brain using the included USB chord. Now—it’s up to kids to teach him the rest.
It’s time for the most exciting part!! M.A.X. is ready to go, and now kids just need to wake him up. He will come out of robosleep with a simple, “Hello,” and then he will ask a series of questions to start to get to know his new human buddy and be a better friend. He will also ask kids to open his claw, tilt his head left and right, and check out the infrared (IR) sensors.
Once M.A.X.’s hardware check is all set, it’s playtime! As a human, there’s a lot to teach M.A.X., so it’s kids’ responsibility to keep playing with him to unlock more features. The curious little bot will ask a lot of questions, and will eventually start remembering kids’ answers. For example, he may ask if you prefer pop music or rock music, and then days later will want to discuss rock music with you. He knows!
M.A.X. is personable, and has a good sense of humor and a charming personality. (Side note: Am I describing M.A.X. or every boyfriend I never had? LMK.) He will interact with kids through a wide variety of impressive, emotive facial and physical animations, sound effects, and speech files. This robot can learn to tell jokes, sing songs, greet friends, go on patrol, and much more.
M.A.X. is also designed with built-in IR sensors to help him navigate around obstacles, and he’s always eager to get out and explore. Kids can control their robot using voice commands, buttons on the MeccaBrain, or the free app. Not only does M.A.X. have tons of commands he can listen to, but he responds wicked fast!
There are more than 15 voice commands M.A.X. will recognize, including “Let’s Dance,” “Tell Me a Fun Fact,” “Tell Me My Fortune,” and my favorite, “Let Me Introduce You.” With this command, kids can show M.A.X. different objects around the house, and he will learn what it is! For example, you can show him your smartphone, wait for him to scan it with his IR sensors, tell him what it is, and he will remember it for next time.
A built-in gaming platform provides another way to engage with this robot, and the more kids play with M.A.X., the more games they can unlock, including Would You Rather? and Two Truths and a Lie.
As a 20-something adult, playing with Meccano M.A.X. seemed limitless. This charming, engaging robot will put budding engineers, builders, and creators to the test and will bring families together as they build together and explore STEM skills.
If you know a young mind in need of a challenge, introduce them to their new friend, M.A.X!