During this year’s annual springtime campaign, however, a third-generation recycling robot might surprise a few fans; not only with his new physique, but new programming.
Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA) debuted the original M.C. Blue in 1997, but more recently upgraded to a newer robot for the second time in late 2011.
The public has been happy to learn that the current M.C. Blue’s predecessor has been returned to Probotics in his native Texas and that most of the retired robot’s parts have been recycled.
This type of “cycler robot” is composed of recycled aluminum and plastic, contains a motor designed for warehouse use and came equipped with expanded digital audio capabilities, including an MP3 player, a siren and strobe light and more importantly, a 22-inch screen imbedded in his chest.
“Now we have pictures and videos to go along with the programs,” said Jennifer Apostol, a MCIA Project Manager who oversees the county’s Recycling Education Program. “The fact that this robot has an entertaining way to deliver a message is much more exciting than say, a pamphlet.”
While M.C. Blue’s scripts are now customized to audience age groups, returning spectators might also note a few other changes to this local celebrity’s routine.
The topic of energy conservation and a trivia challenge are just some of the programming that’s been added to an already well-rounded line-up of shows, such as Planet Beauty, Show-and-Tell and Recycle It or Not.
This month alone, M.C. will be making his rounds in the county, presenting at 16 various public, private, pre-kindergarten and daycare schools, in addition to community fairs.
“The interest and demand for this program has increased,” Apostol said. “A lot of schools and educators have become more interested in the environment and protecting our resources. Our programs are a great tool to help enforce these ideas.”
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