Meccano, the French model construction kit maker is set to introduce a Wi-Fi controlled called Spyke at the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas (January 8th – 11th, 2007). The robot which sports a webcam, runs on rubber treads that might even enable it to climb stairs (depending on the power of the motors). The robot can be controlled remotely through Wi-Fi via a PC.
Such Wi-fi remote controlled robots are already marketed as home security products or pet sitters in Japan by companies like ZMP Inc.
Spyke will be launched under the US based Erector brand, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Meccano since 1990’s.
While detailed information on this robot isn’t available yet, it’ll be interesting to see how it’s well received at the consumer end.
Depending on processor power and features, it might give the cheap contemporary sets from LEGO a run for their money.
On Meccano …
The Meccano brand is owned by the Japanese toy manufacturer Nikko, who runs the production facilities in France & China. Meccano itself was the brainchild of a British clerk called Frank Hornby (1901), who invented and patended a new toy called “Mechanics Made Easy”. Meccano sets usually consist of …
re-usable metal strips, plates, angle girders, wheels, axles and gears, with nuts and bolts to connect the pieces. It is a versatile constructional medium enabling the building of a variety of working models and mechanical devices.
The name Meccano in all probability originates from the phrase “Make and Know“.