If you were a child of the '80s, at some point in your life you saw the movie Short Circuit and realised that a sass-talking robot would be far superior to the friends you had at school. And with its new Meccanoid G15 KS building kit, Spin Master will finally let you build and program your own robotic sidekick, complete with whatever sarcastic comments you want it to say.
To date, Lego Mindstorms has always been the first thing that comes to mind when you think of robotic building toys, but Spin Master is coming at that market with a vengeance with the Meccanoid G15 KS. Based on the Meccano (or Erector) building toys which uses plates and screws for building mechanical objects, the G15KS stands as tall as most kids when fully assembled, but it might be a little complex for pre-schoolers. If you're ok with a kid using a screwdriver, then they're probably old enough for this set.
To help encourage older robotics enthusiasts to embrace the Meccanoid G15 KS, the software that powers it is all open-source so that programming can be done via line-by-line code on a laptop. But that doesn't mean kids won't be able to program it too. All of the motors and servos that give the G15 KS motion are able to remember how they have been manually moved. So if you want your robot creation to raise its arm, all you have to do is raise it yourself first. Programming is that easy.
But like with most toys these days, there's also an accompanying smartphone and tablet app that allows every joint on your robot creation to be wirelessly operated from afar. And you can easily program more complicated, coordinated performances to help bring the robot to life. Or, if kids prefer, the $US400 set lets them also build a tiny robotic dinosaur companion too, or whatever kind of sidekick they can imagine. [Spin Master]