Robot toys are a great educational tool for kids, and can also make a fantastic gift. Most modern robot toys come with features that help children develop computing skills, coding, and other STEM skills. They also have other great features that make them entertaining and ensure they will keep kids engaged for hours at a time. There has been a real increase in both quality and quantity of robot toys on the market in the past few years thanks to modern technology.
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Smartphones can often be linked with the robots, giving a great level of control and portability. When looking for a robot toy, you should consider what the purpose of the robot is, and what you want the child to get out of it.
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We consulted experts, bloggers and customer reviews to give you this list of the eleven best robot toys currently on the market. We’ve also included a short guide to the questions you should be asking yourself before you make a purchase.
View the Best Robot Toys, Below.
- Anki Cozmo
- LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313
- Threeking Smart Robot Toy
- Wonder Workshop Dash Robot
- LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101
- Sphero R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid
- Sphero SPRK+ STEAM Educational Robot
- Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag Movi
- Makeblock mBot Robot Kit
- WowWee Chippies Robot Toy Dog
- UBTECH Jimu Robot-Builderbots Kit
- Interactive robot
- Ready to use out the box
- Sturdy and durable
The Anki Cozmo is a robot that can be trained to recognize certain voices and faces, as well as perform specific tasks. All that is required is the set and a phone using iOS or Android where you can download the free Cozmo app to use the robot. Cozmo has the ability to express emotions, and learn about your quirks. This robot comes fully built straight out of the box and is ready to use right away. The battery is rechargeable and a charger is included in the set.
There are also three interactive cubes included which Cozmo can play with and you can teach commands for him to follow using the cubes. It is a very sturdy and durable toy, that has been rigorously tested to ensure it fits with all US manufacturing standards and will last for a long time.
The Code Lab on the app is also a great way to teach kids basic STEM and computing skills. There are a bunch of games and actions preprogrammed into the robot, and users can also customize their own games.
LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313
- Encourages creativity
- Construction based
- Builds five different robots
This LEGO kit is a great way to encourage kids to build their own robot and help them further develop their STEM skills. With 601 pieces in the box, this kit is recommended for ages ten and up. When constructed, kids can control the robot and get it to perform basic tasks. The set includes the pieces required to build the robot and remote control, as well as motors and sensors that allow the robot to interact with the real world. When fully built it is 16 inches tall, 14 inches long and 15 inches wide, making it quite a sizeable toy robot.
As with all LEGO sets, this kit is compatible with other LEGO pieces - however, as it is specifically designed for a certain toy with advanced functions we suggest it should not be customized too much. It can be built into five different robots and controlled from a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Threeking Smart Robot Toy
- Amazon’s Choice
- Very interactive
This robot toy is an excellent option if you are on a budget. It has been awarded Amazon’s Choice for nine-year-old boys gifts, making it a great choice for gifting to a young boy. The robot has a number of functions including singing, dancing, avoiding obstacles and making gestures. There are motion sensors to allow the robot to interact with its surroundings. The robots arms and legs move, with finger, hand, elbow and knee joints to create flexible movement.
There are also wheels at the bottom of the feet meaning it can also skate along most hard surfaces. The remote control is included to make playing with the robot easier, however, it also recognizes a range of gestures. Threeking offers a lifetime warranty on the robot, meaning you can be sure it is of a high quality that will last a lifetime.
The robot can be programmed to perform certain functions, and there are LED lights to allow kids to understand when it is on and off, and to give the eyes more interactive features. It is available in two colors - blue or pink.
Wonder Workshop Dash Robot
- Popular with schools
This is a great robot for getting kids to develop an early understanding of coding and how computers work. Popular with both parents and educators, there is an app that can be downloaded onto iOS or Android devices so kids can control the app using basic coding that they learn whilst playing with it. Challenge cards are included to focus children on certain tasks. The robot also accepts voice commands, so can be used without the coding component with younger children.
It can perform loops and sequences, as well as follow a number of other commands. This kit comes with a catapult launcher, and there are also additional expansion opportunities with building blocks and sketch kits. Kids also have the opportunity to collaborate with other children from around the world with the Wonder Workshop online community.
The Dash Robot won the Oppenheim Award in 2016. A power adapter is included, and it can also be charged via USB. The recommended age is from five to nine years old.
LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101
- Five models in one set
This is another great LEGO toy which combines the classic concept with modern technology to give kids a more in-depth understanding of STEM subjects. Users can build five different models using this single kit, and an app can be downloaded onto iOS or Android to help them control the robot and better understand computer coding. The app uses a building block style system to instill kids with early knowledge of how computers work and how robots are controlled.
The robot, once fully constructed, has sensors to detect different colors and distance. The motor is interactive so it can react to various commands. There is also a Bluetooth connector included. Recommended for kids from seven to twelve years old, this would make a fantastic gift.
It won awards at the Toy Of The Year Awards 2021 and has great customer reviews which praise how innovative it is. It can, of course, be expanded with other LEGO kits, and is much easier to customize than the other LEGO set on this list.
Sphero R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid
- Great for Star Wars fans
- Coding based commands
- Very interactive
The Sphero R2-D2 robot will be appreciated by both kids and adults alike. Based on the R2-D2 robot from the Star Wars movies, this will be a great gift for fans of the franchise. Users can control R2-D2 by using an app that can be downloaded onto iOS and Android. Bluetooth connectivity is also required for the robot to be able to understand the commands. Like other modern robot toys, the app that controls R2-D2 is developed in a way that teaches kids all about coding and computing skills.
R2-D2 can sit in either bipod or tripod mode, with the middle leg being retractable. The head can also be turned independently of the rest of the body. The robot will also react if you watch a Star Wars movie with him. R2-D2 will also react to voice commands, and simply saying “hey R2” will get his attention. According to customer reviews, it works well on both hard surfaces and carpeting, though might be a little slower on thick carpets. You charge R2-D2 via USB, and a single charge will last for around an hour.
Sphero SPRK+ STEAM Educational Robot
- Builds on a variety of STEM skills
- Durable outer shell
- Works with other Sphero robots
This is Sphero’s original robot toy and is a fantastic option for teaching kids not just about coding, but a whole range of other STEM skills. It is controlled using an app that can be downloaded on to iOS and Android devices. The LED lights make it fun for kids of all ages, and there are multiple sensors to detect speed, position and motor function. The outer shell of the robot is produced with durable polycarbonate plastic. This means it is scratch resistant and completely waterproof.
It is also coated with a UV protective coating to ensure the internal parts are not ruined by strong light. The Bluetooth connection works up to 100 feet away, and the robot is charge with inductive charging and will last for one hour on a full charge. The Sphero app works with all of their robot sets so the toy can be played with other Sphero kits.
The app develops a holistic understanding of computer skills such as mathematics and engineering, rather than simply focussing on coding. It reaches speeds of 4.5 mph and there are LED lights that interact with commands.
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag Movi
- Great for preschoolers
- Packed with games
- Facial expressions
For young children, this is a great option to get them into an early understanding of robotics. It comes at a very budget-friendly price and is aimed at kids of preschool age. The robot can move in every direction using two side wheels. It also has built-in facial expressions to show various emotions, and there are over 60 different faces.This robot will develop early STEM understanding in preschoolers, but will also develop their cognitive skills and recognition abilities.
The robot comes with a series of games - including Red Light, Green Light and Movi Says - that allow kids to interact with it and develop various other skills. It requires four C batteries, so we suggest including these if you are giving the robot as a gift. The volume levels can be adjusted to keep parents happy, and it will work on both hard surfaces and carpet.
Makeblock mBot Robot Kit
- Very customizable
- Different games included
- Compatible with regular computers
The mBot is a robot toy which kids can construct by themselves out of the box. Construction is simple, but children are also encouraged to customize the toy as they use it. Controlled by an app, basic coding skills are also used to control the robot and there are a variety of games included for maximum functionality. It is also compatible with LEGO pieces, allowing for further customizability. Games include maze and obstacle exploring, soccer and path following. This robot is recommended for kids from eight years old onwards.
Four AA batteries are required, as well as a coin battery for the remote, so we suggest you include these if giving as a gift. You can purchase the robot in two colors - blue or pink. There are additional kits which can be bought to expand the mBot and add new functions. The app is compatible with iOS and Android, and the robot can also be controlled from a computer. Customer reviews are very positive but suggest adult supervision with younger children.
WowWee Chippies Robot Toy Dog
- Great for young children
- Multiple functions and reactions
Another great option for young children, this toy dog is a fun gift option that does not require an app to use. It is packed with functions that mean it acts just like a real dog in a variety of situations - but without the mess! The dog even reacts to petting and has a variety of sound effects including barking, sniffing and sneezing. There are three different dogs available in blue, pink or black. Each dog has a slightly different personality, and if they are together they will even sing in harmony. The remote control included allows kids to control the direction of movement, and they can get the dog to dance, sing and chase its tail.
The toy even has a guarding function, where it will bark if it senses motion. The eyes have bright LED lights that work whenever the dog is switched on. It will work both on hard surfaces and carpets, though will run a little slower on carpets. Four AAA batteries are required, so we suggest including these if giving as a gift. The remote also requires a 3v disc battery.
UBTECH Jimu Robot-Builderbots Kit
- Impressive final product
- Builds STEM skills
This is a very impressive robotic vehicle building kit that is recommended for kids from eight years old and up. Kids construct the robot themselves using building block pieces, and can then programme the robots using an app that is compatible with iOS and Android devices. The robotic arm can even pick up small objects! There are 357 parts included in the set and it is recommended for kids from eight years old and up. The robot is manufactured with smooth movement parts that make it much easier to use.
Motors and sensors are included. The robot is powered with the charger provided and will last up to an hour on a single charge. This UBTECH robot has won multiple awards including CES 2017 Innovation Awards and Time To Play Magazine 2016 Holiday Most Wanted List. Customer reviews are also very positive and suggest it takes most kids a couple of days to fully construct the robot. It can be driven on both carpet and hard surfaces and is compatible with other Jimu Robot sets.
When finding the perfect robot toy there are a few factors you should consider. First of all, you need to check the safety and durability of the toy, however, the age of the child, their personal tastes, and what the robot offers them will all have an impact on the best options for you. We suggest double checking the customer reviews before making any purchase, as these will back up the manufacturer’s claims. Here are the questions you should be asking yourself before making a purchase.
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What is the educational value of the toy?
The great thing about most modern robot toys is that they come with added educational value thanks to their use of modern technology. Many of the toys on this list teach kids the basics of coding and build their STEM skills. They can also help build creativity and imaginative play skills. The LEGO robot toys are customizable with other LEGO sets, and allow kids to use their imaginations to develop their own creations.
Most robot toys are also interactive, and kids can create their own scenarios for the robots to react to, enhancing their imaginative play. Some of the kits can even help their interpersonal skills. Robots which need to be constructed from many different pieces can allow kids to work with others on a project, helping them to bond with whoever is assisting them and create a shared sense of accomplishment.
A good example of this would be siblings who are close in age. You could give them one of the more complicated sets for them to both uses together. This way, they also learn how to work with other people on a major project and to share the results.
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Is it safe and durable?
This is definitely the most important consideration when choosing a toy. Most kits made in the US, Canada or the EU will comply fully to manufacturing standards within the US, but sets that are made elsewhere may not. You should check the safety standards in the product description, and also check out customer reviews to make sure nobody else has had any major safety issues.
In terms of durability, you want to make sure it is manufactured with durable materials. This will depend on the kind of robot you are buying, but reinforced plastics and metals are common. Some robots are even waterproof, which is a great extra. Have a think about the situations where the kid will use the robot and what kind of features it will need to have to last long enough.
Does it fit Their Other Interests?
Obviously, if the child you are buying for is really into Star Wars, the R2-D2 robot would be a brilliant option for them. If you can find a robot that fits into a certain theme or performs certain tasks that align with their interests, this will make them more invested in the toy and will also help them take more advantage of the educational benefits.
Is it Age Appropriate?
One great thing about the abundance of robot toys that are on the market is that there will always be something for the right age group. Robots that come fully constructed, or only take a couple of small steps to fully set up, will be better for younger children who could otherwise become frustrated by tasks they are not yet able to perform. These robot toys also tend to come with educational and developmental benefits that are more suited to this age group.
Older kids will love the more complicated robots, however, as this will challenge them a little bit more – keeping them engaged and entertained. Construction based robots will, of course, be a great option for them, but also consider the robots that come with good software that allows them to develop more complicated coding and computer-based skills.
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Robot toys make fantastic gifts, and if you get one with a great educational value they can really enhance a child’s development. Consider the age of the child and their interests to make sure you get the perfect robot toy for them, as this will help them get the most benefit out of it as possible. With modern technology making rapid developments, the range of robot toys is vast and is only set to get bigger with more and more features being added.
These robot toys can prepare children for the modern world, and allow them to pick up skills that will be necessary as they grow older, as well as prepare their brains for thinking about technology. This list is a great starting point to consider the multiple features available, but there are many more toys on the market that are great for developing STEM skills. Always check customer reviews to ensure the toys live up to the claims made by the manufacturer, and we are sure you will find the perfect gift!
Robot toys that are controlled with a mobile app are the best options for older children. As the company makes updates to the software, the features will be enhanced even further to ensure kids get the best out of the toy.