The building process of Meccano Max is comparatively easier than any other Mecanno robots we discussed before – Mecanno XL 2.0 and Mecanno g15 – as it has far fewer parts to build. There are only 322 pieces in the set where it is with the other mechanoids, in some cases, it’s up over a thousand. So it’s a lot easier and quicker to build.
As for the battery situation with Mecanno Max, he does come with one. It’s a 1,800 Milliamp hour rechargeable battery that takes a four to the six-hour range to charge for the first time. It lasts for at least a few hours of playtime once charged.
After you fully charged his battery you first have to get the Meccano website loaded into your computer and download Max’s brain or his mind. It only takes a few minutes to do this but at this point, you’ve already spent at least a couple of hours assembling this guy and all you want to do is get started using it. So it is a little bit annoying to have to download and install the software but it does come with a special USB connection cord that you can go ahead and attach to your computer. It only turned out to take about five minutes or so.
When you finally got to start playing with the Max all he would do at first is tell you a few jokes and that’s because Mecanno Max is a learning robot meaning that he develops new skills and learn things, the more that you play with him. So initially he wouldn’t dance or tell your fortune or anything like that but not to worry by the next day he will be doing all that and a whole lot more. Although there will be still some features that he hadn’t developed too yet, like going on patrol.
From a hardware standpoint, max isn’t as fully loaded in the servo department as compared to other mechanoid robots. He only has one servo for making his head tilt side to side and he’s got a claw servo on his right hand that he can use to grab things or pick things up. Of course, his left hand is also poseable but there’s no motors or anything like that in it, so it’s just kind of a static sort of gimpy hand. It’ll just hold whatever pose you put it in.
Other than that, Max also has working rubber tires or wheels that he uses to get around with and dance song and that sort of thing. It’s a little bit better than having legs in a way because it makes Max a little bit more compact and solid than the very gangly four-foot-tall mechanoids that we had discussed before.
What makes Mecanno Max stand out from the previous mechanoid robots is the fact that he has an electronic screen for a face and this gives him the ability to reveal all kinds of interesting facial expressions, unlike anything that we’ve seen from Meccano before. So for example, if he’s telling you a joke or a fun fact or something you can actually almost see the emotion or the fun right there on his face and sometimes you can almost even tell what he’s thinking. He even has sensors where his eyes should be that allow him to look at items that you want to show him.
So one of the voice commands that you can have with Max is you just say “I want to show you something” and you put it in front of his face. He can perceive it and he’ll make some comment about it. So it’s really fun and he also uses those built-in infrared sensors to avoid obstacles as he moves about. So overall a pretty clever little robot.
Of course, he is a STEM-based robotics platform and learning toy with customizable programming and he’s designed to engage with kids on a sort of an intellectual level. Max just loves dispensing knowledge, particularly knowledge related to science and the other STEM fields and he’s got artificial intelligence and an integrated gaming platform with trivia and all kinds of other interactive fun features.
You can control your Max either through voice commands, through the buttons on his mecha brain right there on his chest or even through the app. There’s a free app that you can download to use with Max and that opens up a whole world of educational and fun play options.
One of the app features is something called “face builder” and from where you get to pick from all sorts of different facial features and create these weird faces that can then become the face of your Max
Kids are going to love it as it will keep them occupied for a very long time and they’ll learn something in the process. Meccano Max is definitely cool and anyone that’s into robotics and STEM-based learning toys will just love it.