REVIEW – With Christmas just around the corner, I have been looking for toys and STEM type device designs and concepts for gift ideas for my kids. My kids and especially my son, are very much into the technology and entertainment such as gadgets provide. The Intelino Smart Train looks like it is “exactly what the doctor ordered”. Let’s see!!
What is it
Intelino promotes smart play by designing a toy train with built-in smart technology. The technology includes optical sensors in the train that tracks the speed of the train while helping maintain a consistent speed regardless of the train’s carrying load, as well as the smart engine powered by a 32-bit ARM microcontroller with BLE wireless connectivity. Features include “plastic snap-on tiles of different colors, that can easily be placed on and off the tracks. They are used to control the train’s actions like steering, speed, movement, the magnetic wagon coupler and more. The smart train comes with 17 default action snap commands.” A mobile app is also available to manually drive the train and control most of the other functions.
What’s in the box
1 x Intelino Smart Engine
1 x Intelino Train Wagon
20 x Track Pieces
1 x Micro USB Charging Cable
40 x Color Snaps
1 x Set of Train Decals
! x Instruction Leaflet
Design and features
- Packed with sensors enabling enhanced interactivity and precise control
- Screen-free and connected play modes for kids and train fans of all ages
- Develop STEM and coding skills through engaging play-based activities
- App-based Autopilot and Manual drive modes with a dashboard displaying the train’s actual speed, distance traveled and other real-time action alerts
The train cars are made of plastic and have wheels that allow them to travel along the tracks that are also made of plastic. The Engine Car has all of the electronics built-in. On top of the Engine Car, there is the power button and charging LED, and the battery level LED indicators. There are also LEDs that light up the front and rear of the car with blue LEDs on the front and red LEDs on the rear.
Powering on the Engine Car:
At the bottom of the Engine car, there are 4 wheels and the electronics that allow it to read the action snaps. There are also LED lights.
Here is a close-up view of the sensor underneath the Engine Car:
On the back of the Engine Car, there is the micro USB charging port, LED lights and a metal “bumper” that magnetically connects to other train cars.
The Train Wagon does not have any electronics. On the top, there is a directional arrow for how it should be connected to the Engine Car, and on each end, there is a bumper/magnetic connector.
Once you take the trains and tracks out of the box, it is quite easy to figure out how they connect and how to create simple track designs. After you use the micro USB cable to fully charge the Engine Car, you are ready to go. Intelino provides a basic instruction leaflet that is enough to get you going. There is also an instruction card for the action snaps that explains what colors and sequence of color can be used to provide instructions to the train like turn left, or right, or increase speed, or decrease speed, etc. The sensors underneath the Engine Car read the action snaps and know what to do. Once you download the app, you have the ability to create your own commands for the action snaps (I have not tried this as yet since the included commands are enough), and also to manually control the train.
The following screenshots are from the Intelin0 online user guide link:
The next set of screenshots are from the Intelino app:
Once you open the app, you are able to connect to the Engine car and to manually control it including driving it (forwards and in reverse), blowing the horn, coupling and uncoupling train cars, controlling lights, etc.
Check out the speedometer in the screenshot below as I manually drive the train. The distance traveled is also on the top left of the screen.
Video of Engine Car:
Video of Engine Car and Train Wagon:
What I like
- The entire Smart Concept design
- The ease of construction
- The versatility that adds to the fun
- The expansion possibilities if additional tracks and train cars are available and added
What I’d change
- Include more tracks in base kit
- Include a hard copy detailed manual
The Intelino Smart Train comes well packed in a relatively small box that makes you wonder what you are getting when you first see it. However, it is a complete train set and a wonderful concept and modernization of the traditional train set. The ability to use the action snaps to create commands on the track is great and the fact that you can code and create your own commands is amazing. Then there is the ability to use the very nicely designed app to drive the train. It all works well and because of its versatility can be enjoyed by kids and adults. I am looking forward to buying more tracks to create a much bigger and more involved layout. Hopefully, at some point, I can get more train cars too. I give this train set that my kids truly enjoy, a well done and two thumbs up!!