We purchased the The 8 Best Robotics for Kids so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full products reviews.
Fun, age-appropriate learning tools that focus on STEM concepts and introduce basic coding are the best robotics for kids. Many robot toys are kits that allow a child to construct and program a robotic device, while others focus on the construction or coding process. These toys are a great way to engage a young mind by allowing the child to set up various programs, routines, or obstacle courses using logical concepts.
The UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Kit is our top pick for the best robotics toy for kids. A child can use the extensive kit to build and program five different template robots, or they can create their own custom robot. If the UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Kit isn’t for you, we’ve included some of our other favorite robotics toys in other categories, such as the best kids robotics for coding. Continue reading to see all of our recommendations for the best robotics for kids.
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Best Overall: UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Kit
357 snap-together parts, four digital servo motors, an infrared sensor, a programmable LED light, the main control box, and a power adapter make up the UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Kit (). Kids can build a grabber robot or a digging robot with the parts included in the kit, then program their bot using Blockly coding. Blockly coding is simple to use, as it consists of a series of drag-and-drop blocks. The child can move their robot, pick up objects, and do other things with it. Because it has an infrared sensor, the robot can avoid obstacles. The robot’s “eyes” light up, making it appear more like a friendly and fun character.
The JIMU Robot App, which uses Bluetooth to communicate with the robot, has 3D modeled instructions that walk you through each step of the construction process. The app is extremely easy to set up and use.
One of the coolest aspects of this kit is that it allows a child to make their own robot. Rather than allowing only one or two predesigned builds, the kit allows you to create your own. The high-torque servo motors make the robot’s movements more natural, regardless of whether you choose one of the two predesigned bots or a custom robot. For children aged 8 and up, the UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Kit is recommended. It comes in extremely well-organized packaging, with each component clearly labeled and separated.
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Best Sci Fi: Sphero BB-8 Star Wars Droid
If your kids (or, let’s be honest, you) were as enthralled by BB-8 in the new Star Wars trilogy as almost everyone else on the planet, this toy is the ideal present. It’s extremely interactive, with a changing personality as you interact with it. BB-8 () can be programmed and controlled using Sphero’s droid app, allowing for features such as patrol mode, where it will intelligently cruise around a space.
It’s also quite expressive for a droid, and it accepts voice commands if you don’t have your smartphone with you. It’s the ideal vehicle for your child’s creativity, as well as a great way to entertain your nerdy friends over cocktails. Because it’s Disney-licensed, you can expect a high level of realism and attention to detail: this droid looks like it came straight from the big screen.
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Best for Kids Ages 5 to 8: Wonder Workshop Dash
The Wonder Workshop is a company that creates wonders. The Dash robot () is an excellent toy for teaching your children the fundamentals of coding and robotics. Unlike robotics kits that require you to build a robot, Dash comes fully assembled. Dash can be controlled by voice commands, but it’s also compatible with five apps that gradually introduce kids to programming fundamentals until they have a basic understanding of how it works.
Dash can perform a variety of tasks thanks to its programmable LEDs and buttons, IR receivers and transmitters, potentiometers and dual motors, three proximity sensors, three microphones and speakers, three processors and sensor fusion, real-time Bluetooth, and two powered wheels. With a sketch kit for creating art, a bulldozer blade, a projectile launcher, costumes, a xylophone, and even an adapter to connect LEGO building bricks for truly custom robot builds, kids can expand Dash’s abilities. The Dash robot has been used in over 20,000 schools in the United States to help children enjoy computer and robotics science.
Wonder Workshop also invites kids to join the Wonder League, where they can share their ideas and compete in Wonder Workshop Robotics Competitions.
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Best for Kids Ages 8 to 11: Makeblock mBot Robot Kit
The mBot robot kit () was introduced by Makeblock, a leading brand in STEM toys, to help kids become more interested in science, engineering, and technology. With the included guide, you can assemble the mBot in about 20 minutes, as the parts snap together and there aren’t many pieces. If you want a more personalized robot, you can combine it with LEGO and Mega Bloks to make your own custom bot.
To teach the basics of coding and programming, the little robot is controlled by an iOS or Android app. Many kids are already familiar with coding because the mBlock Blockly app uses a scratch-based programming application. Older kids can program their bot using the more advanced mBlock software (Windows/macOS/Linux/Chrome).
Both the mBot and the dedicated software are fun to play with at home, but they can also be used in the classroom by elementary school teachers for hands-on learning.
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Best for Pre-Teens: LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101
LEGO has entered the STEM toy market, with a variety of options for making science, engineering, and coding fun for children of all ages.
Vinnie the Robot, a semi-functional guitar, Frankie the Cat, a multi-tooled rover car, and an automated assembly line robot that actually builds miniature structures out of legos are all included in the Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 (). The large kit keeps kids occupied by making each of the robots more difficult.
The dedicated Boost app for iOS, Android, Kindle, and Windows 10 smartphones and tablets allows the child to control each build. The app builds on basic coding and programming lessons with an icon-based coding interface before moving on to more advanced concepts.
To make even more robot builds and obstacle courses, kids can combine the Boost Creative Toolbox with the LEGO City Arctic Scout truck and the NINJAGO Stormbringer. The Toolbox includes a playmat that allows your children to engage in activities such as path tracing.
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Best for Teens: LEGO Mindstorms EV3
The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313 () is the most advanced buildable robot kit available. SPIK3R (the robot leader), an all-terrain vehicle, a gripper bot, a robotic snake, and a scorpion bot are among the five styles of robots that can be built with the 601-piece kit. Three interactive servo motors, as well as sensors for infrared light, colors, and touch, are included in the over 600 pieces, making the robots even more responsive to input.
The EV3 kit works with all LEGO build sets, allowing your children to create truly unique structures, obstacle courses, and target ranges. A dedicated app for both iOS and Android mobile devices is used to control the bots. The robots can walk, talk, and even think on their own. The EV3 software for Windows and Mac computers has more advanced features, so kids can learn more complex coding lessons and parents can keep older kids and teens interested. Building guides for additional robots, programming and coding tutorials, and access to the thriving online community to share ideas and robot creations are all available on the Mindstorms website for kids, parents, and teachers.
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Best Budget: Discovery Kids Mindblow 12-in-1 Solar Robot
The Discovery Kids Mindblow 12-in-1 Solar Robot kit () includes everything your children will need to construct virtually any robot they can imagine. The kit includes blueprints for 12 different robots, ranging from a robot dog to a bot that can row around a pond or a bathtub. There are 190 pieces in total to encourage kids to experiment with different designs while also teaching them the fundamentals of mechanical and robotic engineering. The kit is powered by a small solar panel, which eliminates the need for batteries and chargers, which can be misplaced, damaged, or run out of power, cutting playtime short.
Each robot has clear body panels so that children can see how the motor drives gears and shafts to move the unit. Each creation also includes a simple “face” to help give the robots a personality with which children can connect and have fun. The Discovery Kids Mindblow 12-in-1 Solar Robot kit is perfect for older kids who already have a basic understanding of engineering and want to expand on it.
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Best for Gamers: Nintendo Labo Variety Kit
Nintendo has been a pioneer in the video game industry, with consoles such as the Game Boy and the Nintendo Switch. With their Labo brand add-ons for the Switch, they’re now tackling augmented reality and engineering. The Variety Kit () comes with everything you’ll need to make two remote-control cars, a house, a fishing rod, motorcycle handlebars, and a 13-key piano.
A game cartridge is included in the kit to teach you the basics of how to use each of the builds. For a more immersive gaming experience, the motorbike handles are also compatible with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Kids and parents can use the Toy-Con Garage software to come up with new ways to use the kit’s builds, or they can make their own Toy-Con objects out of cardboard and other household items. You can personalize each build with paint, markers, stickers, and other Labo kits to create truly one-of-a-kind creations.
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The Final Word
The UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Kit is the best robotics toy for kids. It’s a little on the pricey side, but it gives kids who want to build and program their own robot a lot of options. If you’re looking for a robot to introduce coding concepts to a younger child, the Wonder Workshop Dash is a good option. Look no further than the Discovery Kids Mindblow 12-in-1 Solar Robot for a low-cost option.