Cool Robot Toys for Kids to Code and Control 2020
A lot has happened in the world of robot toys over the last few years. Robotics has passed from science fiction to reality, and now provides an amazing range of sophisticated robot toys for kids, at affordable prices.
The high-tech hardware and software in use today has created some very cool robot toys that are fun-packed and entertaining, as well as educational. Some robo toys have a humanoid appearance, others are styled after creatures - dogs, cats, dragons and dinosaurs for example - others resemble machines.
The best robotic toys have something for children of all ages depending on what is wanted from them.
- If your child specifically wants a robotic pet, then read more in our post about Interactive and Electronic Pets. These are the most popular type of tech toys around.
- For those who are interested as much in the science and engineering involved, and want to learn how to build robots and make them work through coding, we’ve prepared a selection of robot toys to build from a kit.
- Our selection of robot toys below, can be played straight out the box, are fun to use, easy to understand and kids can learn from them. We've just excluded the robo pets and buildable robots which we cover elsewhere.
The bottom line though, is that all these robotic toys are great fun to play with, and just what children are looking for today. They have plenty of play value and kids will learn from them.
Many robotic toys are delivered fully assembled, only requiring the addition of batteries or the charging of rechargeable power packs if fitted. It's a good idea to buy an additional stock of batteries though, as pencells provided sometimes only have a 'demonstration' capacity.
Image and text links below will take you to Amazon, where you can check current prices and customer reviews.
Boxer AI Interactive Robot
Boxer AI Robot is a small robotic toy that packs a lot of fun straight out the box. No assembly is necessary.
His multi-directional infra-red sensors and fast, balancing motors, enable Boxer to play games and display many changes in mood, depending on how you interact with him. He makes cute sounds and his digital display shows you how he’s feeling.
There are 10 games cards for you to start this little feller playing. Just drive him over a card so he can scan the barcode and off you go. Bot Bowling, Laser Tank, Dance Party or Soccer are a few of the games.
There are three ways to play with Boxer:
- Use hand movements and touch. Boxer's built-in IR sensors will pick up on hand movements and touching. He’ll react in funny ways.
- Race Boxer around, and pull all sorts of wheelie stunts using the handheld remote control. It’s easy to use.
- Download the free app to a device and access a lot more games.
So what do you get in the box?
You get one fully assembled, ready-to-boogie Boxer AI Robot, remote controller, 10 activity cards, an interactive ball, a micro USB charging cable and 3 x LR44 button cell batteries for the remote controller. (You’ll need to replace them in due course).
You don’t need a mobile device to play with Boxer. There's a mass of play value from the games cards and using the remote control. But if you do download the app to a device, you get access to a lot more games, and therefore a lot more fun.
This adorable little toy robot for kids is suitable for children aged Ages 6 and over.
Botley Coding Robot and Activity Set from Learning Resources
Botley is a fun way to introduce kids to coding and the STEM skills they’ll need as their education advances.
It works without the use of a screen, so no smart-phone or tablet is needed. Kids get to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills through active play.
Even five-year olds can learn to code with this robot toy.
Botley works straight out the box (after batteries have been loaded), and comes with a practical 77 piece activity set. This includes a remote programmer/transmitter, detachable robot arms, 40 coding cards, 27 obstacle pieces for Botley to steer around, 6 double-sided tiles, coding challenges and instructions.
Botley has a cute friendly voice and can be programmed to follow black line pathways, avoid obstacles or crash into them if you want, catch items in his arms and follow looping commands. He has hidden features for you to unlock as well.
Having fun while learning is a great way to develop new skills. Botley is an easy-to-play-with, entertaining and educational robot toy for young kids that is a lot of fun.
You can buy Botley just on its own but it really does make sense to get it with this activity set.
You’ll need 5 x AAA batteries, 3 for the robot and 2 for the transmitter.
Ages: 5 to 8 years.
This could well be be one of the most wanted tech toys again this Christmas. It has personality, it plays games, and the more you use it the more upgrades and games are unlocked.
At its heart is an emotion engine, which evolves as you bond with it. Personality is developed as it shows its own emotions, facial expressions, sounds and language. It has sounds that will match its mood and whatever activities are being engaged in.
Cozmo is a big robotic brain in a small package. A palm-sized interactive robotic toy it may be, but it is packed with so many features that it must be one of the best robotic toys available this Christmas.
Cozmo in his regular color scheme.
Cozmo may be small, but he packs a heck of a lot of high tech!
Dash Robot by Wonder Workshop
Dash is cute, and is different from many other toy robots in that it doesn't resemble a human or an animal. It's a real robot that will help teach your kids about programming while they play.
Supplied fully assembled and ready to use out of the box, Dash can be programmed via your mobile device once you have downloaded the free 'Blockly' app. This software contains hundreds of projects and coding adventures.
Kids use the free apps and can watch easy to follow tutorials on their device to start learning straightaway. Dash combines fun and learning, is a great computer-science educational tool, and is an awesome robotic toy.
UBTECH Alpha 1 Pro Humanoid Robot
If it’s a more human-like robot your child wants, then Alpha 1 could be just what you are looking for.
Alpha 1 Pro is the new generation Humanoid Robot from UBTECH. It has a fully articulating body that is app-enabled, and programmable, and is fully assembled out the box. After initial battery charging you’ll be able to see the lifelike movements this robotic toy is capable of.
It’s packed with many technological improvements.
Components are now clad in a more durable material, with leg and chest parts housed more effectively.
The robotic high-torque digital servo motors (16 of them) have been upgraded, which makes them much quieter, safer and stronger.
The new rechargeable Li-ion battery is detachable and replaceable, and the mainboard has improvements to bluetooth audio, with an improved speaker. There’s also a new emergency stop button.
Alpha 1 Pro connects to your Smart device (iOS and Android) via Bluetooth and can be made to perform pre-programmed movements and routines, as well as any you create for yourself. All of which are explained in the comprehensive user guide.
This UBTECH robot stands at an impressive 16 inches tall, and could become an entertaining and fun new addition to your family.
In the box you’ll find an Alpha 1, charger, USB cord, and a user guide.
Suitable for ages 8 and up.
Ditto Mini Talking Travel Robot - USA Toyz
Ditto the Mini Travel Robot from USA Toyz is great for playing with whilst traveling.
These cute, pocket-sized little robot toys are available in three colors - red, green, blue - and are made with diecast metal - so they’re tough. They have a posable body using 11 moving joints, and can strike a pose and hold things in their hands.
Ditto is a great mimic and will repeat almost anything his microphone picks up. Ditto’s eyes illuminate and flash, and glow in the dark.
You tap or push his head for the various interactive actions. Ditto requires 3 x LR44 button cell batteries which are supplied.
In the box: Ditto Talking Robot, 3 x LR44 batteries, user manual.
You can take your Ditto anywhere!
MiP Robot By WowWee
The MiP Robot is a self balancing robotic toy that uses a technology called Gesture Sense. This enables interactive play through gestures such as touching, swiping, clapping and more. You don't need a handheld controller to do it either.
In addition, you can control the toy via Bluetooth using the free MiP app that can be downloaded to your smart device.
MiP communicates its personality through sounds, its LED eyes and motion. Different games modes can be controlled through gesture sense or your smart phone or tablet.
Most suited for 5 to 9 year olds, MiP won Innovative Toy of The Year in 2015 and still has a lot going for it.
WowWee Botsquad GRiP & Joe Plow Robots
Botsquad robot toys from WowWee are hard working construction robots with LED eyes and over 50 funny phrases and sounds.
GRiP is a gripping robot with treads, who lifts things and moves them around. Joe Plow is a wheeled path clearing robot. He’ll push and he’ll pull to clear a way through obstructions.
Both have a shifter remote control and are easy to use. You’ll need a stock of pencell batteries as these robo toys will get a lot of use. They work best on smooth surface - not so good on carpet - and are best used indoors.
This is a simple but cute robotic toy and ideal for younger children as it has limited control functions.
Recommended ages 4 and upwards.
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach 'N tag Movi
This toy robot - just right for pre-schoolers - needs a small amount of easy assembly on the rear wheel, and then it’s ready to play with.
It has 3 learn and move games modes with 6 games to choose from, all designed to keep kids thinking, moving and learning. And having fun, of course!
Movi has over 60 facial expressions, light-up buttons on its head, and full 360 degree mobility.
There is plenty of interactive activity involved with playing along with Movi. Just choose the games mode you want to play with and follow along with Movi’s directions.
This is a nice robot toy that combines a lot of physical activity with, critical thinking, following instructions and learning about animals and letters.
4 x LR44 batteries are required and are included, but it is recommended that you replace these with fresh cells when purchasing, to get the best results.
For ages 3 to 6 years.
Sphero Bolt App-Enabled Robot
Sphero Bolt is a cool robot toy for kids that’s completely spherical in shape, just like a robotic ball. It has a clear bodyshell so you can see the internal workings.
It has an 8 x 8 LED light Matrix that’s visible. It animates to show characters, vector graphics, and sensor data, and you can play games on it too.
If you are playing with other Sphero Bolts they can communicate with each other.
It’s an app-enabled robot so you can code it and drive it just as you want.
Download the free app to your device - either iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows and Chrome - then program Bolt as creatively as you wish.
Bolt connects via bluetooth with a 100 foot range, and with over 2 hours of battery life there’s plenty of fun to be had on one charge. It uses inductive charging for 6 hours to get the 2 hours plus of runtime.
This is a seriously good robot toy for teaching kids how to learn programming, and in an easy and fun way.
For ages 8 and up.
Sphero Orbotix Ollie
Ollie is a fast, multi-terrain, stunt robot that is powered by 2 Lithium Polymer batteries and controlled by your iOS or Android device.
A strong carbonate shell houses the electronics in this app-enabled, electrically propelled computer.
It’s a tubular shape with tires at each end, and can race along at 14 mph. You can change out the tires depending on how you want to drive - tight turns or drifts - and what tricks you want to play.
Using a Bluetooth Smart connection you have a 100 foot range to use Ollie, and one hour of gameplay on a standard charge.
In the box with Ollie you’ll find Drift Wheels, Nubby Tires, Prime Hubs, a Quick Start Guide and a USB charging cable.
Download the free app and get racing!
Ozobot Bit Coding Robot
This flat-bottomed polycarbonate orb is packed with optical sensors, LED lights and all the electronic power you need to master coding.
Bit Coding Robot from Ozobot is a basic beginner bot that teaches STEM skills to kids, in an easy and fun-to-follow way. It’s ready to go out the box and shows your kids how to code in several ways.
To start with, kids are shown a super easy way using a marker that Bit responds to. Kids draw lines and color codes and the Bit Robot follows those commands. There are twenty color codes that can be created in their activity pack.
A programming editor online makes things more advanced using a system called OzoBlockly. This uses drag and drop to help them create their own Bit code.
They use both these coding techniques to learn problem solving, and critical thinking as a great introduction to computer science.
Bit Robot is supplied with an activity pack, 4 color code markers, several skins, decorative stickers, USB charger and a quick start guide.