Here's where you'll find all the latest news about technology for children. We love to follow cool new inventions on Kickstarter and we hunt out all the latest announcements about tech toys and gadgets for the coming Christmas holidays. You'll also get our take on children's technology stories in the media.


Our kids technology product reviews are intended to help you work out whether a toy, gadget or kit is a good fit for your child or family. There's lots of cool stuff available, but is it the right choice for the child or teenager that you are buying for? We'll help you make the right choices and get the best value for money.

GIFT GUIDES$show=/search/label/gift%20guide

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends assemble. We create gift lists to help you make good choices for kids technology which helps them develop the right skills for the future. We research the best in Coding Toys and Games, Making / Craft Tools and Kits, STEM/STEAM related gifts, Programmable Robots, Electronics Kits and Gadgets for Tech Age Kids and Teens.


Get crafty with technology. Here we'll post all our ideas and projects using technology to get creative and making with kids. You'll find anything from making a lemon battery to a glow-in-the-dark Minecraft sword. Our projects are tried and tested on our own kids or at events we run, so we are sure you can have a go at home with your kids. Some of our projects use specific tech gadgets which we provide links for you to purchase.


STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In recent years there is an increased focus in these areas of study. We like to include Art and Design too, so we often talk about STEAM (A stands for Art). At Tech Age Kids we believe Coding is a new literacy and children need to understand how technology works, practice making skills and grow in their curiosity to make a better future for us all.


Coding is increasingly being recognised as an important skill for children to learn. Some will learn to code at school or at a coding club, but it's brilliant if they get support at home too.


We think it's really important for kids to get hands-on with electronics and learn how to make circuits and write code to control hardware. Younger kids can start with conductive playdough. For kids who like to combine craft and tech, littleBits are fab. And we love SAM Labs wireless electronics components for making it easy for kids to make Internet of Things inventions. Lots of electronics kits for kids have support for the Arduino microprocessor environment. The DuinoKit Jr is one of our favourites. Arduino is a fab skill for older kids and teens to develop.


We love robots at Tech Age Kids, especially programmable ones. We've got lots of them and write reviews and projects that use them. Our programmable robots for kids buying guide is a good place to start if you're not sure what's available. Roby the mBot Meccano robot dog is one of our popular projects and has been with us to lots of events. Our Ozobot LEGO trailer is fab for kids who love LEGO and robots.

MAKING AND CRAFT$show=/search/label/making

We're advocates of the creative use of technology, but this needs to be balanced with developing physical skills such as papercraft, woodwork, clay modelling, technical drawing and soldering. If children don't develop these skills as they grow up then physical making projects can become frustrating rather than fun. The Maker Community uses the term 'making' as a broad term to include all sorts of artisan skills or craft activities. Being able to make things can lead to life-long hobbies or even careers. It's a great feeling to be able to take a project from an idea in your head to a real object that does something. We're particularly interested to explore products that combine maker skills with tech skills such as electronics but others focus purely on the physical making skills that are still important to modern making.

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 vs Meccanoid - How to Choose Your Robot

They're friends really
How do you choose between the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and Meccanoid G15 (and G15 KS) robots? This was a question from one of our readers at Tech Age Kids so I thought I'd put a post together to answer the question in detail.

We've written about the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and Meccanoid G15 robots before so try those articles first if you want a basic introduction. They are both fun and interesting robot kits for kids but they're quite different and each will be the right choice for some families and children. If you're kids are robot crazy then you might want to acquire both over time but you'll still need to decide which one to pick first.

Update: Meccano have now released Meccanoid 2.0 and 2.0 XL the latest versions in the range. The comparison with the EV3 still stands, the new models aren't radically different but have an upgraded Mecca brain and other smaller improvements.


Both of these robots are based on well-known and loved construction toy brands. Mindstorms uses LEGO pieces and can be extended with regular and Technic pieces. Meccanoid uses plastic rather than metal pieces but is compatible with regular Meccano and uses nut and bolt construction techniques.

Both kits have an element of construction but they are quite different. Mindstorms offers several models that are fairly quick and easy to build for an experienced LEGO builder who has built kits from the Technic range (or other sets that use those pieces.)

There are lots of different models to build from Mindstorms including ones that have been shared by the community. You can buy books with further ideas.

Meccanoid is quite different. It's a big build. Expect to spend several hours even on the smaller version of the robot. It's not a very difficult build and there are videos to follow along, but it is a big build. Kids will need to have plenty of patience or a willing adult helper. Dexterity is also important for working with the small nuts and bolts.

Meccanoid also has instructions for Dinosaur models that can be built from either the G15 or G15 KS kits. It's not quick to change between models so you're likely to keep the robot in one form for a while.

Meccanoid is very new so we may well see new models from the community and from SpinMaster Meccano in the future.

Overall Impression

Mindstorms is a very techie-looking kit in black and red and lot of the models are vehicles. The use of LEGO will draw a lot of children to the EV3. The use of Missions and the ability to build cool machines will attract kids who enjoy problem solving.

Meccanoid on the other hand is a friendly-looking humanoid robot with a quirky personality and big eyes. I'd say a broader range of kids would be drawn to Meccanoid from an entertainment and fun perspective. Kids definitely interact with Meccanoid as a personality rather than just a machine.

Meccanoid, even the smaller G15 model, is much bigger than EV3 so it can appear more impressive at first glance. The G15 KS at 4 feet tall really does have the wow factor. Of course EV3 has the option to build lots of different models and you could add parts to make a bigger robot if you wanted to.

Hardware and Control

Mindstorms EV3 Meccanoid G15 (and 2.0)
Motors 2 Large and 1 Small motor 4 servos in the arms (8 in the KS model) plus 2 motors for the feet 
Other Outputs Individually programmable RGB LEDs in eyes and servos
Sensors Color Sensor, Touch Sensor, Infrared Sensor / Receiver Servos act as movement sensors. Phone camera used for motion control. Voice recognition.
Control Infrared Remote, Bluetooth, Physical Buttons. Voice, Bluetooth, Physical Buttons

Meccanoid does very well in terms of output with its servos and motors and individually programmable RGB LEDs which are very appealing.

Mindstorms does better with sensors with a range of interesting sensors included in the box.

Both platforms are extensible and you can already by a range of add on modules for EV3, an add-on servo for the Meccanoid is also available.


Meccanoid has some interesting features with its built in commands (like Dance and High Five) and it's options for programming by physically moving the robot or using motion capture (replaced by behavior builder in 2016) to mimic a person's movement. It also tells (bad!) jokes and is fun at a birthday party. It has more built-in entertainment than Mindstorms EV3.

EV3 on the other hand currently has more educational material with it's fun Missions that come with the software.


LEGO Mindstorms has a Robot Commander app for quick and easy interaction and remote control play. It also has the EV3 Programming Software which uses drag and drop graphical coding and included 25 missions (using several different robot models) that kids can build and code their way through. This offers some structured learning which is also entertaining. For more experienced coder there are also options for programming EV3 in C, C++, Python and other languages. There are lots of third party libraries, books and tutorials.

Initially Meccanoid is 'programmed' using a choice of innovative approaches: Learned Intelligent Motion (physically moving the robot), Ragdoll Animation and Motion Capture (replaced by behavior builder in 2016). These are more about controlling and recording behaviour than true coding, but a lot can be accomplished with them.

But there's hope for a lot more in the future as SpinMaster Meccano have said that it will be possible to program Meccanoid from a variety of languages in future: "Open Source Programming: Communication protocols will be made openly available on our website."  This sounds very promising but we don't have the details yet.

Update: The Meccanoid now has support behaviour builder drag and drop coding in the app. This is proper coding and works for Meccanoid G15 and 2.0 models. This seriously increases the scope of programming for Meccanoid. It's early days for the app and there are some usability issues, but it's a huge step forward.

Update: 2015 Smart Protocols details. Support for programming the Meccanoid with regular programming languages is limited so far and require the use of an Arduino rather than using the Mecca Brain.

Age Suitability

Mindstorms EV3 is recommended from age 10+ (though as we've said, it's definitely suitable for younger techie kids.)

Meccanoid is also recommended for age 10+. Younger kids will get a lot from a robot once it's built but would struggle to construct the robot initially.


Meccanoid G15 is battery powered whereas the G15KS has a useful rechargeable battery. The Meccanoid 2.0 smaller version is still battery powered whereas the larger XL version comes with a rechargeable battery pack.

Mindstorms EV3 uses batteries but you can get a rechargeable battery pack (and one is included in the education edition.)


LEGO Mindstorms already has a big community with forums, competitions and sharing of experiences.

Meccanoid is new and it will take time to reach the same level.


Both robots have the possibility to be extended both in terms of their construction (via LEGO or Meccano) and their components.

Meccanoid is interesting for its ability to use lots of motors. SpinMaster Meccano have also said that 3D models will be available so that add on parts can be 3D printed which is very interesting. (Update: This hasn't happened yet and there hasn't been any further mention of it, but users have started designed their own parts.)

Mindstorms currently has more add-on modules with a range of sensors available.

Price and Value for Money

Mindstorms EV3 has a retail price of $349.99 whereas Meccanoid G15 is $179.99 and G15KS is $399.99. However, Meccanoid is more likely to be found at a discount. Update, at time of writing the brand new 2.0 versions of Meccanoid are available at a significant discount on Amazon.

The Meccanoid does offer a lot of hardware and entertainment value for the price. All those servos and motors are very promising for building robots that move.

Mindstorms is more established though and there's more structured educational content available and options for programming in different languages are already here rather than promised for the future.

2016 Update - Meccanoid 2.0

Meccanoid have now released the 2.0 version of Meccanoid. This is another difference, LEGO only release a new version of the Mindstorms robot after several years which means it will stay current for longer.

At time of writing the newly released Meccanoid 2.0 is available at a significant discount from its retail price and you can also pick up the older Meccanoid G15 kits cheaply.

Meccanoid 2.0 has a new colour scheme and upgraded Mecca brain. The new robot has more phrases and voice processing has been improved. The smaller version has switched from using C batteries to D batteries.

Mindstorms EV3 vs Meccanoid Conclusion

If you want an established robot with lots of programming options and a good range of sensors then you won't be disappointed with LEGO Mindstorms. Kids who love LEGO will get a lot from being able to customize their models. There are also plenty of books available if kids needs some ideas to get the most from their robot kit.

Mindstorms is a safe choice with a big community out there sharing experiences and creating resources. 

If you want a cool, new and entertaining robot with a newly introduced programming capability which will hopefully improve then Meccanoid is fantastic value for money. Meccanoid is fantastic at parties and when friends come to visit. It feels like a companion robot and hints at the future of robots.

You can also build big robots with Meccanoid, even with just the smaller kit the robot will tower over an EV3.

The community around Meccanoid is only just beginning so you'll be in at the start of it. For some families that will be appealing.

24 days of Scratch coding book cover and cute penguin

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: LEGO Mindstorms EV3 vs Meccanoid - How to Choose Your Robot
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 vs Meccanoid - How to Choose Your Robot
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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