MeccaNoid G15 Review: The Buildable Robot

meccanoid g15 review

Who is the MeccaNoid G15 Buildable Robot?

Did you ever want to build your own personal house robot? If you’re like us, chances are that you have. To that end, Meccano has you covered with their new line of buildable robots. Today we will be reviewing the G15, the smaller of the two robots in this line. The Meccano MeccaNoid G15 is a robot you build yourself, brought to us by the amazing company that created the erector sets we all had as kids and loved. In fact, Meccano has been making building sets and buildable toys for over 100 years.

We created this Meccanoid G15 review so that you will know exactly what to expect when you purchase one of these robots. What can it do? Should I buy one? Let’s find out!

Quick note

This robot is designed for kids ages ten and up, as younger kids will likely have issues with the build. However, if an adult assists them, then it should work out and would likely be a fun way to spend a Saturday for both you and your kid. The build time is long though, a good several hours so it might be a good idea to have more than one person working on the build to speed it up a bit. Many of MeccaNoid’s sections can be built in parallel.

Related: MiP Robot Review

Meccanoid G15 Specs

meccanoid g15 review sale

Click here to see if the Meccanoid G15 is for sale!

Length: 3.5 inchesHeight: 15 inches
Weight: 7.7 poundsMaterial: Plastic, Metal
Works With: Both iOS and AndroidRecommended Age: 10+

What’s In the Box?

  • 621 Meccano parts for building your robot
  • MeccaNoid brain
  • Six motors for realistic movement
  • Four smart Servos localized in the arms that remember your movements
  • Two motors for driving the feet
  • Battery box for powering the robot
  • Mount for holding your cell phone
  • Smart Servos to control your MeccaNoid’s movements
  • Instruction manual with explanation of how to build and control your MeccaNoid
  • Two real tools to help you tighten the nuts and bolts
  • USB cord for connecting the Meccabrain to your computer for future firmware updates

First Thoughts

The MeccaNoid G15 box is substantial and heavy, and though it is made of cardboard it isn’t cardboard which will give out if you look at it wrong. The top of the box boasts a sturdy carrying handle. You could even use this box, and its built-in internal dividers, to hold other MeccaNoid parts when you are done with it. The front of the box features an illustration of a completed MeccaNoid along with information on the robot such as the fact that it works with select Android and iOS devices.

The box for this buildable robot is easy to open. All you’ll need is a pair of scissors to snip the pieces of tape at the top. Then you can simply pull out the tabs and the outer box falls open to reveal the goodies inside.

Meccanoid G15 Video

Check out the video of the Meccanoid G15 giving people high fives!

ProsCons
- Able to do tons of cool stuff
- Highly customizable
- Able to be controlled in different ways
- Educational
- Hours of fun
- Some assembly required
- Battery life is relatively short

Design

The MeccaNoid G15 Buildable robot is about two feet tall. It appears to be a cross between a skeleton and a robot, since it is built from Meccano pieces connected with nuts and bolts. It is multi-colored, with blue LED eyes one on either side of its head. The Meccano pieces for this build, instead of being made of metal, are made of polycarbonate plastic. This means that the MeccaNoid bot is nearly indestructible. He rolls around his environment on low-profile, high-grip wheels that connect to his feet.

Related: WowWee Miposaur Review 

How Does He Work

Once you have built your MeccaNoid according to the included instruction manual or another set of instructions found online, it’s time to play. Your MeccaNoid robot will go through several actions, asking you to confirm that each of them works correctly when you first turn it on, and then will launch into a tutorial that explains some of the basic features. His LED eyes work well to show you what mode he is in at any time. There is also spoken feedback for a lot of modes.

The MeccaNoid G15 also features LIM, Learned Intelligent Motion, in which you can teach it motions using the Servos in its arms. Further, the robot is programmable in other ways, thanks to the presence of its Meccabrain. The Meccabrain has a flash memory size of 64 megabits, which enables it to record various sounds that play back as well as movements.

This buildable robot toy is not rechargeable. Instead, it is powered by four C-sized batteries that die rather quickly if you use the robot a lot.

Voice Commands

There are thirty voice commands that your MeccaNoid knows and you can program many many more. He can dance, do Kung Fu, exercise and tell jokes, all with your command. Simply say “Meccanoid” to get him listening, and then give him a command such as Dance or tell me a joke. He will respond with over a thousand pre-programmed phrases.

Features

The MeccaNoid is truly customizable. A build is suggested in the instructions. However, you can find more builds online to make your MeccaNoid look different from any other out there. You can also change his name, raise and lower the device volume, and even program in new movements for your robot to do.

There are three ways to program your new robotic friend, through LIM (Learned Intelligent Motion, through the rag doll avatar and through motion capture. The first is available right out of the box. The other two require a connection to a Bluetooth-enabled smart device.

With the LIM, you have the ability to program all kinds of sounds and movements. You can then play them back with a push of a button.

The App

For additional play, the MeccaNoid robot can interface with your iOS or Android device via a free app that is available on both the Apple App store and Google Play. This app adds even more programming possibilities to the robot using motion capture. Motion capture uses the camera of your device to capture your arm movements. Your MeccaNoid will then copy you. You can even save these sequences of movements to be played back or edited later.

You can also use the app to edit in voice and LED color changes using the Rag Doll avatar editor which is MeccaNoid’s third and final method of programming.  What you do is hold your Apple or Android device and use your finger to swipe the ragdoll avatar to make Meccanoid move. The only downside we found to this is that the motion captures are always recorded. It would be nice to have the MeccaNoid simply be able to copy your actions without saving them until you hit save. Then there would only be length restrictions for saving captures.

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Modes

The MeccaNoid has several modes of interactive play. In high five mode, your MeccaNoid will give you a high five. He can also shake your hand.

In Walk With Me mode, you can lead him around the room, guiding him. He will hold your hand and walk along beside you like a child.

Your new robot companion also comes with several modes of autonomous personality that are dependent upon his environment, making him so versatile he’s almost alive.

Conclusion

That concludes our Meccanoid G15 review! MecccaNoid is  an extremely customizable, advanced robot and a whole lot of fun. In fact, there are only a few downsides we could find. Firstly, the build time is several hours, and it takes a lot of patience. Further, the Servos are incredibly loud. It is hard to hear the MeccaNoid’s voice unless the volume is turned up as high as it will go.  If you play with your robot too much, the batteries will quickly die. However, there is supposedly a firmware update to fix this one.

Finally, if you are recording motion capture, there is a rather short recording length. Other than those small issues, however, the Meccanoid is a lot of fun. If you like building or robotics at all, we cannot recommend this little guy enough.

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