Although some robot toys are designed for children, this doesn’t mean that adults can’t have fun with them. Robots for children are mainly toys that are great companions which provide educational value. Some toys can even teach logic and basic programming skills necessary for jumpstarting a career in the tech industry.
These toys use state of the art technology (in respect to the year the toy was released), such as smartphone apps, voice control, and even advanced mechatronics. These amazing electronic play things will keep your children entertained for several years. And the best part is that these toys, while amusing, also teach children the basics of robotics and interacting with artificial intelligence (AI).
Whether you’re looking for a DIY robot kit to teach children how to follow constructions to construct something by themselves, or you’re looking for an educator to teach children how to think on their own, toy robots can be an ideal gift to give your child for their birthday or on Christmas. Here are # of the best robot toys for your children.
- Self-aware robot
- 3 interactive cubes
- Unlockable games
- Charging dock
Cozmo is a small, lightweight but sturdy robot that can fit in the palm of your hand. This cute little robot looks like it jumped straight out of a sci-fi movie for children. Cozmo is the latest generational interactive robot that can perform a number of amazing tasks. Using the latest AI technology, Cozmo has realistic emotions and a facial recognition feature for reacting to your actions and personality.
The longer you interactive with him, the more games are unlocked for you to enjoy with him. The games you can play with Cozmo are not “chores” and children will genuinely enjoy interacting with the little guy. The interactive cubes that come with the set are used to play and “feed” Cozmo energy (in certain games). It’s always amusing to see Cozmo’s reaction when he absorbs energy from the cubes that ultimately allow him to interact more with the user. To use Cozmo, you can use the iOS or Android app for your smartphone (free).
Some people might feel overwhelmed by the $300+ price tag for the unit. In addition, Cozmo consumes a lot of battery power in short periods of use and is completely reliant on the charging dock for “sleeping.” However, If you can afford this unit for your child, nothing else will make him happier than playing, learning, and interacting with Cozmo.
2. WowWee MiP Robot
- Responds to hand gestures
- Can carry objects as heavy as itself
- Immersive personality
- Dual-wheel balancing system
- Bluetooth enabled
- App enabled
- Sound detection
Now we are looking at a robot on the opposite side of the cost spectrum. This unit is relatively cheap (around $60) but it doesn’t mean that he’s any less fun.
WowWee MiP Robot has a responsive personality that it conveys through motions, sounds, and LED eyes. It has a unique balancing mechanism for moving and standing on its two wheels. MiP is able to find his way through its surroundings, can read and understand hand gestures, and even follow objects or things around when they move (e.g. your child or your cat). MiP is a master at stacking, dancing, roaming, and even programming. Using the iOS- and Android-compatible app, you can feed the little guy mood chips. After doing so, MiP will act in wacky ways to entertain your children.
However, for a toy released in 2014, it lacks many things. First of all, it is powered by 4 AAA batteries and requires a lot of power to operate. This means that this non-rechargeable companion will drain your batteries in no time. Another drawback is its almost-complete reliance on the smartphone/tablet app that many children do not have access to, making the toy reliant on the parent’s phones to operate.
- DIY robot kit
- Magnetic parts to create a functioning robot
- Unique behaviors depending on its build/how the blocks are stacked
- Bluetooth enabled
- App enabled
Cubelets are the perfect toy to teach your children about robotics and programming. This toy is the first step to getting your children excited about the tech world. The brick adapters connect to the brick construction that you child makes and can bring a vivid motion and life to the toy. With a set of Cubelet cubes, your child can create up to 500 unique designs, each with their own functions. The magnet faces making snapping pieces incredibly easy, and there’s essentially no wrong way to construct a robot.
The blocks included in a set of Cubelets are Drive, Flashlight, Distance, Brightness, Passive and Battery blocks that can be put together to create a single robot with multiple functions. Each box contains six blocks which are compatible with additional Cubelets sets. The battery blocks contain enough power to provide fun for several hours, and they are charged through a micro-USB port.
Using Bluetooth, you can update the operating system of Cubelets as well as do some fine tuning with the app (iOS- and Android-compatible). The app really helps children learn what pieces are connected and how they will interact with each neighbor cube.
Cubelets are an amazing toy for children and even adults who want to get into basic robot building. However, one set of the DIY robot kit can cost upwards of $150 and it only includes six cubes. Pay another $150 and you’ll have 12 cubes to play with. Though impressive, the price tag can really push people away from purchasing this amazing robot kit for their children.
4. HEXBUG Nano V2
- Rotating flags and tubes
- Spiral tube accessory
- One HexBug Nano robotic bug
- AG13 battery powered
- Company recommended 3+ years
- Customizable configurations
This toy is extremely friendly to families on a budget (around $6 for the toy) that can easily entertain children for several hours. Although it’s not as educational-focused as other robots designed for children, these little guys can teach creativity, especially when they’re paired with obstacle courses and hexbug habitats. Additional Hexbugs can be purchased, but make sure that you get the Nano V2 versions (previous models do not have a vertical climbing feature).One of the highlights of this product is the Hexbug’s ability to climb vertical obstacles. It can also climb through horizontal obstacles and loop around corners.
Some drawbacks with this toy is that it is quite reliant on the habitat sets that are sold separately from this kit. In addition, they can go through batteries pretty quickly so make sure to have extras on hand. Finally, although the company recommends children of at least 3 years to play with Hexbug, perhaps you should wait until your child is older since the Hexbugs themselves are choking hazards.