This post is sponsored by Spin Master
Parents looking for a hands-on way to encourage their tween and teens towards STEM learning will love that Meccano M.A.X. incorporates building and the trend of artificial intelligence with the lifelong skill of programming into one very cool robot. With a vision of building a better tomorrow by empowering and inspiring the next generation of Makers, the Meccano brand tasks older kids with challenging build process that requires focus and determination but is well worth the hours spent when they finally see M.A.X. come to life.
After putting M.A.X. together and downloading the software to his brain, he becomes a charming robot that responds to your voice, comes ready to react to a list of voice commands, and allows you to program Learned Intelligent Movement (LIM). Additionally, Meccano M.A.X. has a free app for iOS and Android devices that can be downloaded so you can program M.A.X. with your smart device to create custom programs, animations, and more with the drag and drop interface.
Building Meccano M.A.X.
Tweens and teens who love to build will be excited to open M.A.X.’s box to find real nuts and bolts, metal pieces, robotics components, and tools that require them to use engineering skills to build a 12” working robot. Meccano approximates that it will take ages 10+ between 1-3 hours to build M.A.X. but it could take even the most experienced builders longer to assemble their robot.
While the sheer number of parts may be intimidating to some kids and parents alike, we recommend organizing them from the start. Thomas began by clearing the kitchen table and pulling out bowls and small dishes that are essential to his building process. He cut open the many bags of parts, sorted them into various bowls, and put other parts on the cookie sheets so it would be easy to clear our kitchen table for meals without disturbing the arrangement of his pieces too much. Then he flipped open Meccano M.A.X.’s instruction book and got started.
The 66 steps of the robot build are outlined in 21 pages of easy-to-follow diagrams. Each step clearly shows builders what parts are needed and where each piece goes. The parts were easier to find because Thomas had sorted them into bowls.
Meccano M.A.X. is a great project for parents to work on with their older kids since the build promotes family bonding as well as hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, problem-solving skills, and imagination. It’s also a perfect activity for Independent tweens or teens to tackle it on their own but if you find that they’ve been sitting too long or are getting frustrated, encourage them to take a break and come back to it later in the day or on another day. Putting M.A.X. together is not an easy task but is well worth the time spent when assembled.
Interacting with Meccano M.A.X.
Building Meccano M.A.X. is only half the fun because once your robot is fully assembled, there’s so much M.A.X. can do! Continue reading the instruction book after the build is completed and follow the subsequent steps to charge M.A.X. and download the software from Meccano.com since he requires the software for his brain to properly work.
Once M.A.X.’s brain is loaded with software and properly charged, the fun begins! Power him on, make sure the switch on the back of the electronics panel is flipped to “robot” rather than “drone,” and say hello. It’s rewarding to see M.A.X.’s face light up and hear him talk to you for the very first time!
After performing a hardware test, M.A.X. was ready to interact with using voice commands. He asked Thomas a series of questions to get to know him and was ready to play. M.A.X. can be used to play single or multi-player trivia games via his built-in gaming platform, make music thanks to the DJ mode, and even tell jokes. Built-in infrared sensors help M.A.X. get to know his environment and as kids interact with M.A.X., he will continue to learn. Meccano recommends that users play and interact with M.A.X. as often as possible so he can build a well-rounded knowledge base.
In addition to the built-in gaming platform, tweens and teens can download the free Meccano app for iOS and Android devices to create custom programs, animations, and more through an easy to use drag and drop environment. There’s even a place to install your phone behind M.A.X.’s light up face to enjoy even more ways to interact with your robot friend.
Similar to the previous comment, please change the disclosure from Meccano to Spin Master in both the text overlay of the video (beginning and end) as well as the description.
Meccano M.A.X. Summary
Meccano M.A.X. is a captivating hands-on STEM learning experience that fully engages tweens and teens through a challenging build that provides the satisfaction of building a robot that uses artificial intelligence to respond to their voices. The building process teaches kids practical skills they will use for life including improving hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, problem-solving skills, and using your imagination. While M.A.X.’s downloadable software has plenty of interactive activities for kids to do with their new robot, Meccano’s free app provides the opportunity for kids to create custom programs for M.A.X. to further extend their learning of coding.
For more information about Meccano M.A.X.:
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Spin Master compensated me for this post, creating the accompanying videos on my YouTube, and hosting a giveaway but all opinions are my own and are based on personal experience. Amazon affiliate links are included in this post.