ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Erector by Meccano Intro to Robotics Innovation Set is hands on creativity

Updated on November 7, 2019

Hands On Is Fun

There was a time when it was considered a family tragedy that someone’s child had decided to find out what makes time “tick” and had disassembled the mechanical alarm clock. Today’s child is just as curious and eager to be hands-on, but the opportunities have fallen away due to all those tablets and smartphones and the digital world in general (and parents being a lot more proactive about leaving tools around). But Mecanno knows that there’s nothing more exciting to a 10 year old than the chance to build their own robot: no, not 100 feet high and with laser shooting eyes, but one that they have built themselves from scratch that can then be controlled. With that in mind, the Erector by Meccano Intro to Robotics Innovation Set is here to reaffirm that the analog way of doing things by seeing, touching, putting them together is still valid. And fun.


Creating is Creativity

This set is all about S.T.E.A.M., the acronym for Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, with the obvious heavy accent on the engineering aspect. Not that the other aspects are pushed behind, because mechanical meets electronic in pretty much all cases. There are 12 blueprints provided: these detail projects for creating/constructing/building, which can then be altered or modified in ways that the child can come up with. So it’s not about “painting by numbers” or “following the dots,” but a way for allowing the child to move at his own pace and taking what has been given as a jumping off point. And the fact that it’s educational as well as working the reflexes and physical areas of the body and taking on the old eye/hand coordination is plainly a good thing.

Thinking and Building

So what exactly can the kid do? Build robots and vehicles and the like. And then activate them and have them move about under the kid’s command — keeping in mind that some creations just need a steady hand to make things work, while others require the addition of technology (and battery power). But because this is about putting things together — i.e., mechanical — not everything assembled has to operate by electronics. Engineering can be about moving parts that operate by hand too. Think of drawing water out of a well, where a handle is turned to raise a rope with a bucket at the bottom. It’s a mechanical operation with no motor needing to get involved. And so it is the same here, although kids and wells haven’t been put in the same sentence anymore, or at least not since Timmy fell down the well and Lassie had to go get help.

So the set has everything that is needed — a plethora of parts and electronics: 375 in all and including an Infrared/ambient light sensor, a high torque motor, Bluetooth module, micro server (plus more) and the tools needed for assembly. No soldering or hammering or the need for wearing protective gloves or safety glasses (though there’s nothing wrong with that). But it’s the Maker tool that is perhaps the most interesting (and different). This tool is designed with a hole punch and a screw gauge. Its purpose is to let the child take common materials and repurpose them into building material — cardboard, foam core, plastic and the like now being the materials needed and found around the house so as to obviate a trip to the hardware store.

Make, Play, Repeat

Such a lot of stuff needs to be kept together and avoid getting all messy. So all of this comes in a large plastic carry case that securely holds everything until needed (and once something is built it can’t fit in the case, but it can then be disassembled and the parts again stored until the next time). Directions too obviously that cover the gamut of what can be done, but no conventional batteries to power the result (as that is to be supplied by those owning the set).

The Erector by Meccano Intro to Robotics Innovation Set is designed for ages 10 and up. Parental supervision, while not an absolute requirement, isn’t such a bad idea — you don’t want to stifle the kid’s ability to do it themselves, but it can be a cool way to bond. Because who doesn’t like robots? Or creating a whole from parts. For more information go to www.spinmaster.com

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)