MARCo Academy Ep. 6 – How To Control MARCo from any Phone, Tablet, or Computer

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Note: This article has been updated in March 2024 to reflect the latest models of MARCo (MARCo-II, MARCo-III, MARCo-Lite, MARCo+). If you are looking for information for connecting to an older model, scroll down to the end.

First Time to MARCo? Here’s How To Connect

If you have a brand new MARCo and you’re not sure where to begin, start by downloading the MARCo Online app on the device of your choice.



Before opening it, ensure you have Bluetooth turned on on your device. Once you open it, you should be greeted with a screen like this one:

Tap to start, and then when it asks you “How will you use MARCo today?” tap “ROBOT” and then tap “Connect to MARCo”

The app will scan for your MARCo using Bluetooth, so make sure your MARCo is powered on! Once it finds your MARCo, you will see a message like this one pop up:

Select it and if it prompts you to select a Wifi network, choose the one you prefer and enter your password if there is one:

If MARCo and your phone both “Ping!” and MARCo says “Connected!” then you are all ready to start! The next step is to log in or create a MARCo account:

If you already have an account, sign in with it now. Otherwise, tap the “Sign Up” green text to create a new account and go through a brief onboarding where MARCo gets to know you better.

After logging into your robot companion, or signing up for the first time, you should see the following home screen:

Tap on the glowing button that says “Robot” to start your first session with MARCo!

What if I got MARCo Set Up by you guys before it was sent to me but I’ve never used MARCo before?

If your MARCo is arriving pre-set up, then there are two ways to connect to your MARCo.

Start by downloading the MARCo Online app as mentioned above:



Then, instead of selecting “ROBOT” as the way you want to connect today, select “APP“:

“Why would I do that to connect to the robot???” – you, probably

You’ll see in a few seconds! Tap “Get Started” and it will bring you to the login page.

If your MARCo was pre-set up and you didn’t already have an account, there should be log-in information in the box with your MARCo. You can also email from the email you purchased your MARCo from to have it discreetly sent to you.

Option 1 – Connect to a Previously Set Up MARCo

Once you’re on the home screen, tap the button that says “New – Tap to add new MARCo”

A new dialog box should pop up that looks like this:

Make sure your MARCo is powered on. Also make sure that your MARCo said “Connected!” once it was powered on. If it did not, try to restart MARCo by turning the power off and on again.

Once you are certain your MARCo is powered on Tap on the “Connect to previous MARCo” option (the topmost one). If your MARCo was pre-set up, it should say something like “Looks like this account has been used before”

Tap “SCAN” and allow your phone to search through the previously connected MARCo’s to pair to yours. Once it finds a match, it will say so and the app screen will reset itself and you should see this screen:

You should be able to tap the “ROBOT” button to start a session with MARCo! If MARCo acts weird during the first session after the sync, close the app COMLETELY (not just going home and opening it again) and start a new session.

If the scan could not connect to the MARCo, you can try to power MARCo off and on again, and then try the scan a second time after MARCo says “Connected!”.

If this still does not work, then you can go to option 2.

Option 2 – Bluetooth Connect


Tap the same “NEW” button as in option 1. This time, however, in the window that appears, tap the “Add New or Update Wifi” option:

Make sure your MARCo is powered on and is near your phone. Your phone will scan for MARCo and once it finds one and pairs, you’ll see the window turn to this:

If your MARCo is already connected to the internet, it should have a green wifi dot and say “Connected”, and it should NOT ask you to enter wifi details. If it does, then go through the wifi selection process like you would with a brand new MARCo.

Once everything is connected, the window should disappear and you should see this screen:

Tap on the “ROBOT” button to have your first session!

Older MARCo Models

Have you ever found it frustrating to have to keep track of whether or not MARCo’s bluetooth keyboard is charged or not?

Wished you could pull up the videos and games MARCo has for you on a bigger screen?

Well now there’s a way to tackle both those problems with device syncing!

Isn’t device syncing already a thing with MARCo?

If you’ve been using the latest MARCo’s, then you should already be familiar with the process of logging in from another device. You open the app, type in the sync code that MARCo generates, and BAM! You’re up and running with your robot best friend.

But after that, the app didn’t do anything more for you. Now, that’s all changed with upgraded device syncing.

Device syncing will now allow you to type to MARCo; talk to MARCo; view games, videos, and media; and open applets like the journal from a device of your choosing.

Start by logging into MARCo. We recommend syncing from the app to start, but you don’t have to; it’s just going to make it easier to see.

After syncing to MARCo, you will see that your app’s screen will look similar to the background on MARCo’s screen:

From here, you can type to MARCo via the chat icon, which will also confirm that you are syncing to MARCo:

Typing to MARCo or even chatting using the microphone icon will make MARCo – that is, the REAL MARCo – respond as it typically would. You can also leave your phone or computer to the side and just chat with MARCo still by holding MARCo’s hand down to speak.

Running apps like the journal, open talks, or the activity scheduler will also sync across screens. For instance, telling MARCo about your day in a journal on your laptop where you have more room to type things out will still make MARCo respond and talk you through things.

What if I didn’t sync to start? What if I closed the app and then reopened it on another device?

If you didn’t sync to start, or close the app at any point while still syncing, that’s okay! You’ll be prompted the next time you open the app on any device as to whether to sync or not:

Tapping “SYNC” will connect you, while tapping “DON’T SYNC” will disconnect your account from any syncing MARCo’s and enable you to use MARCo Online as just the app.

This can also be done mid session by tapping on the hamburger menu icon, tapping settings, and finding the “DISCONNECT” option under syncing settings:

Jacob Boyle serves as CEO and CTO of MARCo Technologies. As CEO, his primary functions include defining the company direction, managing contractors and employees, and spearheading outreach and customer discovery. As CTO, he has handled the development of MARCo, having designed and produced the existing MARCo units; coordinate with manufacturers; develop software for the online edition; and oversee continued R&D. He also served as the Technical Lead in the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps accelerator program on behalf of the company.

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