Looking for the perfect robot toy for your child? Here are the hottest robot toys for the 2015 Christmas season that are entertaining and educational.
By Steve Crowe
Are you struggling to find the perfect gift for the techie on your holiday shopping list? We’ve selected our pick of the best robot toys that are likely to have a fun, educational impact due to their cutting-edge features.
Whether you are looking for a toy that provides a pure fun factor, a toy that can teach logic and programming or a toy that could be a companion, these robot toys are sure to
be the perfect fit for people of all ages. We’d love to own every robot on the list, and you should too.
Sphero Star Wars BB-8 Droid
The Star Wars BB-8 app-enabled Droid ($150) has an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic videos.
The BB-8, which is built by Sphero, can be controlled via smartphone or table and it responds to your voice.
Anki OverDrive Robot Racecars
Anki Overdrive ($150 for Starter Kit) is the second-generation of the popular robot racecars, debuting new cars, apps, new gameplay features and a new modular track system that lets users create custom racetracks.
It also is the first time the product series allows iOS and Android users to battle eachother can now for the first time battle each other.
A new modular track system allows you to clip together track pieces by connecting magnets. The Anki Overdrive kit comes with 10 track pieces that allow you to create eight tracks.
Ozobot Bit 2.0
One of the world’s smallest programmable robot toys, Ozobot 2.0 Bit ($69.95) is designed to teach kids how to program with an intuitive color-based programming language.Ozobot Bit can sense colored lines, detect patterns such as intersections, read flashing light codes, and execute a total of 500 commands.
Ozobot Bit is basically identical to the original Ozobot, offering all the same capabilities, but it adds in Google’s Blockly coding editor. The idea is to have kids expand their coding know-how and see the results unfold in front of them in near real-time.
The programming is done on a mobile device, either iOS or Android. Once the coding is complete, just put Ozobot Bit on the corresponding surface and hit a button and the Ozobot app will immediately communicate the commands to the robot
Cubelets ($160) are robot blocks that make it fast and easy to engage children as young as four in learning by building robots. You don’t need to know anything about coding, all you do is snap the robot blocks together and the magnetic faces do the rest.
Perhaps the best part is the included Brick Adapters connect to your favorite brick-based construction systems such as Lego.
Dash & Dot
Dash & Dot ($200) interact with the world using sensors. They can hear sounds, detect objects, and know if you are moving them. They can be programmed to do anything you can imagine using a simple visual programming language called Blockly -Deliver a message to a friend, have a dance party, and even navigate through an obstacle course.
WowWee MiPosaur Robot Dinosaur
The MiPosaur is one of WowWee’s many popular robot toys. Miposaur ($119 on Amazon) is a robotic creature with evolving intelligence and personality that can sense its environment.
It comes with gesture control technology that allows you to control it with the swipe of your hand. Move your hand side to side to make MiPosaur dance or cover its eyes.
MiPosaur comes with an interactive TrackBall that it plays with, using it to activate Feed, Chase and Guard modes. MiPosaur, compatible with both iOS and android smart devices, is fully interactive with the MiP robot and a BLE enabled app. Look for MiPosaur in the third quarter of 2015 for $120.
Hasbro Robot Cat
Hasbro’s $99 Companion Pet Cat is available in three colors and has motion and light sensors to respond to touch. It even has “VibraPurr” technology to replicate a “realistic cat purr.” The Companion Pet Cat has sensors in its back, belly, cheek and head.
Ollie ($99) is one of Sphero’s older robot toys, but it’s still loads of fun. Controlled via iOS or Android devices, Ollie can spin, drift, turn, flip and tumble over courses that you deigned. You can create custom trick combinations and design multiplayer games with friends.
Ollie is protected by a durable polycarbonate shell and outfitted with glowing LED’s, so it’s ready to take on any terrain day or night. It connects to iOS or Android devices via Bluetooth LE and is powered by USB charging.
OWI 3 in 1
The 3-in-1 All Terrain Robot ($60) is a multi-function tracked mobile robotics kit that kids build themselves. Use different track modules and make your robot transform into three variations: the forklift, rover and gripper.
In forklift mode, the ATR is like a mini industrial fork lift, with the ability to lift up to 100 g in weight. In rover mode, the ATR’s tank-like treads can traverse any type of surface. And in gripper mode, the ATR’s strong arms grab and pull objects into its grasp, lifting anything up to 100g and moving it to your desired location.
Although referred to as a spider, the Hexbug only has six legs that allow it to move in any direction. Its head can rotate 360 degrees, and it uses an LED light as an eye so you know where it is facing.
It “shoots” LED light beams and an invisble infrared light. You’ll need two Hexbugs ($66) to engage in a battle. Each Hexbug can be hit with the light and after 10 hits it will shut down and needs to be restarted.