In a quick dash to exhibit something out of my usual norm for the summer Modellers Exhibition in Midhurst in June 2018, just seven days before it I started work on a small experimental mechanical model I had created recently and decided to use it as the core basis of a new design.
The unit consisted of 12 flanged sectors that were attached to a sort of tower from which they all move up and down manually, and so the first thing I sought to do was to fix a base and then to secure a motor to operate the existing manually operating movements. As with all organic ideas, each new thing leads to another and it suddenly appealed to me to create a mechanical robotic man instead of yet another fairground ride.
I added a body, legs and arms and a head, and brought the model to life with movement in the unit as with the head to go up and down and with the ribcage sectors that all open and close like breathing lungs.
With two days to spare, the first phase prototype of the robot was finished, and due to not having much time left I decided not to complicate things any with the planned additional devices that I hope to introduce later to increase the range of operational movements for which I still have ideas to incorporate.
For now though I am happy to introduce you to ‘Meccanoid’, a happy-go-lucky smart robot commissioned with just one objective: ‘To boldly go and persevere into an unknown future where few other toys in this age have dared to go, into a world that no child or adult can ever outgrow!'
I believe that you are never too old or too young to discover the unlimited inventive possibilities of this great toy and experience the great satisfaction that comes from the creative process of the hands and the mind. I just think that the wonder and pleasure you get from Meccano is just so enduring and with this in mind, I have set up my new ‘Meccanoid’ model to introduce himself to you personally.
MECCANOID — Programmed introductory message
“Greetings lifeform, I am Meccanoid, a first phase working prototype of my master’s imagination. I am programmed to expect immediate future updates and in my current status I am looking forward to upgrades.
My master has hastily put me together in just five quick days on a mission to send me to the Midhurst Meccano exhibition and he has tasked me with just one instruction: ‘Mission to recruit a future generation of young Meccano wielders’.
Unfortunately, in my limited state I am not able yet to move my arms or my legs, but he is hopeful that I will be able to gain your attention with my freely rotating head that also has the ability to go up and down thanks to a clever motorised contraption he has implanted in my chest. The device is also responsible for controlling my breathing lungs and my visibly expanding chest with each of my 12 ribs moving in contractions both in and outwards so I can breathe freely.
My programming in future is to undertake several modifications expanding my mission with other as yet unknown technologies, but the secrets of his mind are locked tightly away and all I can do is wait and watch what he creates and what purpose I must serve but I am somehow designed to aspire to whatever I may look like in future, as my one basic remit is to aspire to inspire inter-organic/mechanic relationships and to preserve the sum of my component parts to survive into a new nuts and bolts excited generation.
Recruitment of Meccano fans is in progress. Join the discovery of the same joy and happiness so many have discovered before you and unite with me and hundreds of friends both old and new. Together we can keep Meccano going stronger and stronger through all the endless ages."
Meccanoid — Created by the hands of Santiago Plicio, inspired by the wonder of Meccano!
Now with angel wings!