Robotics for Kids: 2019 Buying Guide (with 10 Recommendations)

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Robotics toys and do-it-yourself kits help children think logically and improve problem-solving skills. Even preschoolers can develop better cognitive skills by using simple robotic toys.

Robotics-for-Kids  Source: wearegurgaon.com

Why Robotics for Kids?

A robotics kit helps kids know how things are put together and how they work. Robot kits entertain kids as they are learning to put things together so that they won’t get bored or frustrated.

Robots introduce kids to math and science in a hands-on, real-world way. Your child will see how math and geometric shapes help enable a robot to perform certain tasks. Programming physical robots help kids see what robots can and can’t do.

Robotics are the future. Any child who begins learning about coding and robotics at an early age will be more likely to have a successful career.

What to Look for in Robotic Devices for Kids

It’s important to ensure your kids have a basic knowledge of robotics and technology in their everyday life outside of school. The more your child knows about coding and how robots, Smartphones, and other products are programmed, the more comfortable he or she will be in everyday life.

Here are some of the things you should look for when buying a robotics toy or kit for your child.

Quality Construction
Always buy the best-quality robotics kit you can afford. Metal and corrosion-resistant aluminum robots are excellent choices. Products made of steel or polycarbonate will withstand rough play, falls and other mishaps.

Programming Language
Even the simplest robots use one of three basic computer languages. There’s open-source Arduino, which is built for beginners, Scratch for kids eight to 16, and Blockly, another language made especially for kids.

Age and Skill Appropriate Features
Look for a design and features appropriate for your child’s interests and age group. Some robots have hundreds of pieces that allow children to create their robots from scratch. Other robots come pre-assembled and have a simple remote control program for younger users.

Top 10 Interactive Robotics Toys/Kits for Kids

Here’s a list of ten top robotic toys for kids, including robotics for early learners, aspiring artists, young engineers, and budding computer experts.

1. Cozmo Robot

Cozmo (Old Packaging)

Cozmo has an interface even beginners can use. Kids and adults can learn to code with Cozmo. You’ll need the free Cozmo app and an iOS or Android device to use Cozmo. The kit comes with a robot, charger, and three cubes, and is recommended for kids eight to 14 years old.

Blocks of codes are stacked graphically to create blockchains. Young kids learn how to control the robot by snapping blocks together. Older kids use an intermediate Constructor code lab to program the robot to recognize colors or sing.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
Although Cozmo is a fun toy, its main function is to teach children to code. The beginning and intermediate coding levels allow kids to learn at their own pace.

 

Pros Cons
Teaches users about coding basics Packaging may be hard to open
Appropriate for kids eight to 14 and adults Set-up takes a while
Gives random, fun commands Update and supports may be limited
Durable – will last a long time even with regular use.

Why We Like It
Cozmo prepares kids for mastering C++ and other programming languages by using various methods, including drag and drop interface or stacking blocks.

2. Sphero Orbotix 1B01RW1 Ollie App-Controlled Robot

Sphero Orbotix 1B01RW1 Ollie App-Controlled Robot

Ollie is a cylindrical, one-pound toy controlled by an accompanying app. Kids age eight to 14 can control it and make it perform stunts, such as defying gravity or jumping off ramps. This robotic toy is controlled via an app your child uses on an iPad, computer, or Smartphone.

Use JavaScript, a drawing app, or Scratch blocks to program the toy.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
Ollie is a great way for young kids to learn how to control a robot effortlessly. The simple tricks and toy design aren’t too daunting for young kids.

 

Pros Cons
Connects to Bluetooth with a 100-foot range Not a STEM-oriented toy
The kit comes with tires and hubcaps Battery wears out quickly
Has glowing LED colors Controller may not work well
Programmable internal robot

Why We Like It
Kids can use the app to control the toy and enable it to move, spin, drive, turn, and go down a slide. It introduces kids to coding and robotics in a playful way.

3. BB-8 by Sphero

Original BB-8 by Sphero (No Droid Trainer)

Star Wars fans will love this BB8 robot replica. Program the droid to spin, turn, and drive with the app. The fun-to-command robot uses an on-screen joystick or iOS or Android app.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
The fun BB8 design makes this robot enticing for kids from eight to 14 years and Star Wars fans.

 

Pros Cons
Sturdy build Takes three hours to charge
Easy to set up Pets may mistake for one of their toys
Includes Lithium metal batteries No games included
Makes sounds like the real BB8

Why We Like It
Kids can use the Bluetooth Smart connection at a range of up to 32 yards to make the droid perform tricks.

4. Makeblock mBot Robot Kit

Makeblock mBot Robot Kit, DIY Mechanical Building Blocks, Entry-level Programming Helps Improve Children' s Logical Thinking and Creativity Skills, STEM Education. (Blue, Bluetooth Version, Family)

Makeblock’s mBot Robot Kit offers many modes, from line follow to obstacle avoidance, and uses Scratch-based software. Control the robot by Smartphone or remote control.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
Kids can create their robots with add-on parts. The shape, sizes, and actions of the robot are left entirely up to their imagination.

 

Pros Cons
Set up in 15 minutes mBlock uses1800mAh Lithium battery and coin battery for remote (not included)
Has infrared remote Ultrasound component may be defective
Storage box keeps cables and parts in order The software may be hard to use after update
Can be used as a remote control toy or programming tool

Why We Like It
This robot kit helps children’s logical thinking and creative skills. The mBlock Blockly App helps kids eight or older learn how to code using Scratch.

5. Tinkering Labs Electric Motor Kit

Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst, Robotics Stem Kit for Kids Age 8-12

This old-school Tinkering Labs kit teaches kids STEM skills, as they make model cars, bare-bones robots, and motors. The kit is recommended for ages eight and up and has over 50 parts. Parts include wood and electric motors, along with ten challenge cards.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
The Challenge Cards prompt kids to complete a DIY project to create their unique robot.

 

Pros Cons
Inspires kids to think creatively Instructions may be confusing
Helps develop coordination and motor skills The kit may not be “modern” enough for some kids
Teaches coding with a hands-on approach May not challenge kids with advanced skills
Kids can add LEGO or motor parts

Why We Like It
This simple kit allows aspiring engineers to build motors of LEGOs or other toys. Kids use challenge cards to build their robots or motors using the provided parts.

6. LEGO Mindstorms Robot

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313 Robot Kit with Remote Control for Kids, Educational STEM Toy for Programming and Learning How to Code (601 pieces)

Kids can program this robot to walk, talk, follow commands, or complete tasks. The set comes with 601 pieces, touch, IR and color sensors. The robot has an EV3 brick and three servo motors for enhanced programming capabilities. The Mindstorms EV3 robot is recommended for ages 10 to 15 years.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
Kids can create five different robots from the kit, including Spik3R, gripper, and EV3Storm, or create their robots from hundreds of pieces.

 

Pros Cons
The Brick has an LCD monochrome May be too complicated for beginners
Expandable Some boxes have missing pieces
Your child can control with Smartphone app Hard to use software
Connects to WiFi

Why We Like It
This kit has a microSD card slot, USB port and can be linked to three more EV bricks. The control brick can manage flashing lights, black-and-white images, and play digital audio.

7. 4M Doodling Robot

4M Kidzrobotix Doodling Robot - DIY Science Engineering Robotics Kit - STEM Toys Gift for Kids & Teens, Boys & Girls (Packaging May Vary)

This simple, mechanical robot uses spinning and vibrations to create drawings for ages eight and older. Kids can make frameable abstract art with this kit. The kit comes with pens, parts, and instructions.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
The 4M Doodling Robot is a great way to introduce artistic kids to robotics, and vice versa, and it’s easier to assemble than most robotics.

 

Pros Cons
Easy to build Runs out of ink after a few pages
Excellent toy for young children Battery not included
Easy to follow instructions Easily damaged
No special knowledge required; anyone can use it

Why We Like It
This easy to assemble toy helps spark an interest in robotics and art in young kids.

8. Botley Coding Robot

Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set, Coding Robot for Kids, STEM Toy, Programming for Kids, Ages 5+

The Botley Coding Robot is an early childhood learning tool for ages five to eight. There’s a remote programmer to instruct the robot – kids don’t need a Smartphone or tablet. There are 77 pieces in the set, including coding cards and instructions.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
Kids don’t need apps or on-screen instructions to operate this coding robot. The remote control has buttons for forward, backward, left, right, etc.
 

Pros Cons
Easy to set up Batteries not included
Comes with booklet listing ten coding activities Not for multiple children to play with at one time
Emits cute beeps and sounds A Botley creation with arms may hit other objects
Age-appropriate design, parts come in pleasing pastel colors

Why We Like It
The Botley Coding Robot teaches young kids about coding. The robot helps kids learn critical thinking skills by using a simple remote control to operate a robot.

9. Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Wonder Workshop Dash – Coding Robot for Kids 6+ – Voice Activated – Navigates Objects – 5 Free Programming STEM Apps – Creating Confident Digital Citizens

The Wonder Workshop Dash Robot is used in over 20,000 schools nationwide to teach children coding and technology. This collaborative robot is recommended for ages six to eight (or older).

What’s Unique About This Toy:
This open-ended technology platform offers a voice command and a Blocky code program to help kids learn how to code.
 

Pros Cons
Durable outer shell Batteries don’t last long
App offers interactive programming Connectivity issues with various devices
Beginning to advanced programming options Lots of add-ons to purchase

Why We Like It
This robot charges via micro-USB and offers an iOs and Android-based app that’s easy for even the youngest kids to use.

10. ArcBotics Sparki Robot

ArcBotics Sparki Robot - Programmable Arduino STEM Robot Kit for Kids - Complete Platform to Learn Robotics, Coding and Electronics

This Arduino-based program contains sensors, claws, speakers, remote controls, and LCDs to program. The kit has over 40 programmable parts in all.

What’s Unique About This Toy:
Kids can start with block-based programming and then move on to C and C++ to program this robot.
 

Pros Cons
More than 100 free lessons included Has a steep learning curve
Kit comes assembled Instructions are hard to follow
Control wirelessly by IR and Bluetooth The battery compartment may be defective

Why We Like It
This robot comes with over 100 lessons written by professional educators to help kids learn how to code and customize their robots.

Conclusion

Robotics challenge your child to be creative and think independently while learning how to code. Coding and technology should be a part of your child’s everyday life, and robot toys ensure that learning these skills is fun.

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