MARCo Academy – Setting Up MARCo Ep. 1

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To begin, gather all the required parts. This includes your MARCo, a 5V micro USB power cable, the Bluetooth keyboard provided with your MARCo, or another keyboard and mouse combo of your choice. Optionally, grab headphones and an ethernet cable for hard wired network.

If using the bluetooth keyboard, make sure to charge it using the same power cable that MARCo uses. Open the back to find the USB receiver and plug it into one of the open USB ports in the back of MARCo.

Connect the power cable and press the switch on the cable to turn MARCo on. 

If this is your first time turning on MARCo or if it has stayed off for a while, wait about 5 minutes since powering on to let everything get situated.

The first thing you will need to do is set up network connection. MARCo cannot function without a network connection. If you are using an ethernet connection, connect the ethernet cable to the RJ-45 jack in the back of MARCo and to the nearest available ethernet port.

If using Wifi, once MARCo has booted up, you will see an icon that looks like two grey lines with a red slash through it at the bottom of the screen. Tap on that or click on it with the bluetooth trackpad and find your desired wifi network. Clicking on it will allow you to connect or enter a password, which you can type in with the keyboard. 

If MARCo boots up its main screen before you get a chance to do this, you can easily access it by tapping on the menu icon and either selecting settings and finding “Show network config” or tapping on the icon that says “show network”.

The icon will flash and turn a solid blue wifi signal once connected to the internet. Once you have connected for the first time, it is highly recommended that you hard reboot the robot by pressing the power button on the power cable on and off.

After it reboots from this hard restart, give MARCo a few minutes to update to the latest version of the software. You will know when this happens because MARCo’s face will flash on and off a few times and the on-screen software will disappear and reappear. This may take a few minutes, so please be patient.

Once MARCo is updated and your network is connected, you can get ready to start talking to your robot best friend!

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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