When we met the Meccanoid G15 KS at CES 2015, we instantly became best friends with Meccano's charming, interactive robot. While the high-tech toy's $399 price tag seemed tailored toward serious hobbyists, Meccano has just unveiled a $179 G15 unit that will offer the same digital brainpower within an adorably compact frame when it hits this fall.
Like its big brother, the Meccanoid G15 is a personal robot from the folks that invented the Erector Set. Sporting large LED eyes, the toy's default body looks like a slimmer version of Wall-E, though you can rearrange its parts to make it look like anything from a dinosaur to your favorite pet.
MORE: Meccanoid Is Robot for the Erector Set
Powered by its "Mecca Brain," the Meccanoid is capable of capturing your motions and even mimicking them. You'll also be able to program its motions manually by hitting a record button, moving the robot's arms around like a rag doll and then watching it repeat those movements. The Bluetooth-enabled Meccanoid will also support remote control via a mobile app, and will be able to play games and have conversations.
The roughly 2-foot-tall G15 packs 275 parts, four servos and two motors, compared to the 500 parts eight servos and two motors found in the 4-foot G15 KS. Aside from being more affordable, the G15 also seems ideal for smaller children, or for anyone who doesn't quite have the space in their home for a human-size robot.
While I only saw a static version of the G15 at Toy Fair 2015, Meccano promises that the minibot will feature all of the same exciting capabilities that the G15 KS wowed us with. We look forward to talking, dancing and playing with both versions of Meccano's friendly robot when they arrive later this year.
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Mike Andronico is an associate editor at Tom's Guide. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico and onGoogle+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.
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