If there’s one common take away from films like WALL-E, I, Robot, Transformers and the whole Terminator series, it would be that robots are the future. In fact, you could make the case that robots are the present. Exposure to robots is only going to increase in the coming years with self-driven cars, even-smarter homes and more convenient robot-lead solutions in public places. Robots are quickly becoming the norm. Whether for yourself or for your kids, add one of these best robot toys to your household this holiday season. They’re one of the best Christmas gifts money can buy when it comes to having fun and learning at the same time.
Not only do the best robot toys provide hours of fun and enjoyment, but they can also be advanced teaching tools that show kids useful life and job skills. And as 58% of current students under the age of 25 are currently studying for jobs that are expected to be radically changed by automation in the coming years, it’s more important than ever to be familiar with new tech. STEM learning toys incorporate numerous elements that are beneficial to users, especially when compared to other non-robotic toys.
Keep scrolling to find our favorite robot toys for sale in 2020, as well as some info on the benefits of STEM learning.
What Are STEM Toys?
STEM is a learning approach that integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics. By focusing on these elements, students acquire a surprising array of applicable skills. Many toy makers are now creating STEM toys, which are designed to either teach basic science skills or spark an interest in STEM subjects. Today, you can find STEM and robot toys designed for toddlers, tweens and teens, and they’re some of our favorite toys to give as gifts.
Potential benefits of STEM learning can include:
- Acquisition of construction skills
- Digital literacy
- Tuning of fine motor skills
- Critical analysis
- The ability to prevent a robot uprising
So, if you just love robots, your tech mind could do with a tune-up or you’ve got kids you want to introduce into the world of coding and robotics, check out the best robot toys of 2020 below. At the most — you’ll be crowned honorary STEM Santa this Christmas who gives the coolest high-tech toys available. At the very least, you’ll get hours of fun.
1. LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor
With the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor in your hands, your imagination is the limit. As the first update to the LEGO’s MINDSTORMS series in seven years, this 949-piece kit introduces builders to their choice of five different personality-packed robots, including Blast, a stoic action hero, Charlie, a quirky sidekick and Tricky, a four-legged robot. Alternatively, it’s easy to come up with your own robot creation, too. For easy-to-understand programming, the kit uses drag-and-drop coding language on Scratch and comes with a number of challenges and activities to make learning fun. This toy is available to order now on Amazon so get on it, before they’re all gone!
2. Anki Vector Robot
If you’ve always dreamed of having an R2D2 or Johnny-5-esque robot friend, the Anki Vector Robot is for you. This adult-friendly device is capable of responding to sight, sound and touch, meaning you can ask your new robot friend to take a picture of you, show you the weather or even control smart devices around the house using its built-in Amazon Alexa. This highly independent robot can look after itself and is capable of navigating obstacles as well as self-charging when required. Furthermore, as it’s wifi-connected, this robot is constantly updating with new features and skills for you to enjoy.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
3. littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
BEST FOR STAR WARS FANS
Who wouldn’t want their own little loyal droid like R2D2? This kit can help children bring one to life using littleBits electronic blocks and the Droid Inventor app. It comes with easy-to-understand, block-based coding instructions so you can take your droid on 22+ different missions, and everything else they need to play right out of the box. The assembly is straightforward and the droid comes with modes like Drive Mode, Self-Nav, Force Mode and more. They’ll love their new little robot friend and the fact that they made it themselves!
4. LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Robot Kit
If you’re looking for an epic robot toy with all the bells and whistles your high-tech kid wants, this is a great choice. It’s for the more advanced STEM-interested kid, and includes 601 pieces that are ready to be built and coded into a fully-functional robot. Once your robot toy is done, it’ll be able to walk, talk and even play games with you and includes the ability to sync up with a free EV3 programmer app that controls your robot. The setup includes an intelligent EV3 brick, 3 servo motors as well as touch, color and IR sensors. There are 17 different possible robotic designs with this kit so your child can explore different options with creativity whilst playing with their educational toy.
5. 4M Green Science Solar Robot Kit
This solar-powered robot teaches your child about robotics, STEM subjects and environmentalism as it runs solely on solar power and requires no batteries. Everything you need to construct your new sun-powered friend is included in this kit, and once completed it’ll be able to walk outside on sunny days with no problem. Regular household recycled materials can be added to your robot to turn him into a dinosaur, monster, or other creature with personality, and the instructions for that step are included in the kit as well.
6. Wonder Workshop Dash – Coding Robot for Kids 6+
This award-winning toy has a variety of functions that will inspire a love of STEM and education in young kids. This voice-activated robot will instantly respond to your kids and dash around the room, which makes it a great distraction for kids stuck at home. Like the best robot toys, it helps kids learn about computer programming and cause and effect. As an added bonus, kids can attach LEGO blocks to the robot to customize it to their liking. However, while many of the best robot toys include complicated setup instructions and require actually building the robot, Dash comes ready to play as soon as you take it out of the box.
7. Novie Interactive Smart Robot
BEST SMART ROBOT
On first exposure, the Novie Interactive Smart Robot may look simple and unassuming, but once you get it out of the box and set it free, you’ll realize there’s a whole lot going on with this little robot. Available in three different colors, Novie is able to perform over 75 individual actions as well as learning 12 different tricks. It also understands hand gestures and works in one of three different training modes. You can teach Novie beginner, intermediate, and advanced tricks, meaning this compact, pocket-sized robot isn’t just fun for kids. Additionally, should your Novie ever meet another of its kind, you’ll get to watch them interact with each other.
8. BEESTECH LED Walking Robot Dinosaur Toy
For some kids, the promise of a dinosaur-shaped anything will be enough to signal excitement. So add colorful lights, a life-like roaring sound and the ability to walk, and this BEESTECH LED Walking Robot Dinosaur Toy is sure to be a winner. What further makes this a great toy for kids is that it breaks down into 16 different pieces, giving your child brain exercise and the fun of putting it back together again using the included, kid-friendly screwdriver. Plus, it’s the most budget-friendly offering on our list.
9. Educational Insights Design & Drill Robot
BEST FOR PRESCHOOLERS
If your kid often sees mom or dad using a screwdriver and would get a thrill out of being able to play along with their own screwdriver-worthy tasks, you may want to check out this Educational Insights Design & Drill Robot. The fun robot is aimed at kids between the ages of three and six and has removable, snap-on arms alongside numerous screw-ready holes that let your child figure use the included, easy-to-use, kid-friendly screwdriver. The set boasts 15 multi-colored bolts along with decorative stickers to further add to the STEM learning experience during play.
10. Sikaye RC Robot
BEST GESTURE SENSING
This Sikaye RC Robot is a human-shaped device that sits just over 10 inches tall. It comes with two different ways to control its movements. The first is the included infrared remote control which lets you make the robot sing, dance, walk and interact with you. Alternatively, you can choose to use only hand gestures to control your robot. It’s capable of 50 different actions and acts as a great way to encourage creativity in kids over the age of six. Its LED face further adds to its ability to interact while the included USB cable makes charging it easy.
11. WolVol Remote Control Robot Police Toy
BEST REMOTE CONTROLLED
Having the WolVol Remote Control Robot Police Toy in your home is like having your very own Robocop. WolVol is built to last and boasts a high-quality construction that can endure the rigors of day-to-day life with a child. The robot comes with a 10-channel remote control which lets you make it walk in all directions, turn around, dance and fire missiles. For added stimulation, you’ll also find several beautiful and flashing lights spread over its body, while the built-in speaker means certain moves are accompanied by sound effects. This really is a great gift idea for kids who love robots.
12. Makeblock mBot Robot Kit
BEST FOR FIRST TIME PROGRAMMERS
If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to introduce your child (or yourself) into basic programming, you may want to try the Makeblock mBot Robot Kit. This easy-to-assemble, bright blue robot is capable of several programmable modes, including obstacle avoidance and following a line. The compact device can be controlled using the remote control or with a smartphone via the Makeblock app. It’s also constructed from an aviation-level aluminum alloy which is durable and difficult to scratch.
13. Fisher Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Toy
BEST FOR YOUNG CODERS
The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Toy is aimed at kids between the ages of three and six and provides a fun introduction to the principles of coding. The motorized bug’s body is made up of eight rearrangeable body segments that command the device to perform various actions including go forward, go left and go right. For a more interactive experience, the Code-a-Pillar also features blinking eyes, makes fun noise and includes two target discs to give users a challenge and encourage problem-solving, planning and critical thinking.
14. Sphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball
BEST BALL ROBOT
You’re guaranteed to have a ball, quite literally, with this Sphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball. This tough, motorized sphere is scratch-resistant, waterproof and comes with a protractor, an inductive charging base and maze tape to give you a whole host of fun activities to perform. It can be controlled and programmed using smartphones and tablets with the Sphero Edu which also lets you take control of the ball’s programmable sensors and LED lights. This handy little device is a fun introduction to coding and provides plenty of hands-on STEM activities for users.
15. Anki Cozmo Educational Toy Robot for Kids
This robot is about as close to a robot you’ve seen in the movies as you can get. Cozmo is ready to be your loyal sidekick with a beginner-friendly interface and educational tools for kids and adults alike. This robot toy has been tested for both security and durability and is easier than you might think to use. This robot syncs up with an app and is ready to meet your every command, and with a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and more than 3,000 reviews you know this robot toy is a winner. Keep in mind that this robot toy is smaller than it may appear in the product photos.
16. Model RoboShooter Robot Toy for Kids
BEST SHOOTING ROBOT
Disk firing is this robot’s not-so-secret weapon against the other robot toys of the world. The latest model includes voice recording that you can trigger at the press of a button, and the kit includes soft foam disks that your finished robot can fire out of its chest on command as well. The included 2.4gHz remote control includes buttons for all of the available functions of your RoboShooter including sliding, walking, dancing, firing the blaster and shooting those disks. This robot also speaks five different languages including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. This robot, unlike others, arrives fully assembled so if your child is more of a player and less of a builder, this is a great pick.
17. Top Race Store Dancing Toy Robot
BEST DANCING ROBOT
Who says robots can’t get groovy? This dancing robot can sing 10 different kids songs, shoot discs, complete math quizzes, tell children’s stories and flash dance whenever you want them to. The remote control comes with a designated dance button that you can press to boogy, but you can also tell them to move forward and back, and to raise and lower their arms in a dance-like fashion. Fun!
18. Force1 Ditto Mini Talking Robot for Kids
BEST MINI ROBOT
This robot is tiny so smaller kids can enjoy the benefits of a robot toy as well. It has 11 different posable joints as well as a voice changer and light up options. Your child can tell the robot secret messages that it’ll read off in its robot voice as its LED eyes light up. It stands at 4.5″ tall so it’s the perfect size for travel and his die-cast metal body is plenty durable for bumps along the journey. The batteries are also included, so your new robot friend will be ready to use as soon as your child opens him up.
19. Mattel Games Rock Em’ Sock Em’ Robots
BEST RETRO PICK
Okay, this is a real throwback, but they’re technically a robot toy and kind of the OG robotic toy if you ask us. Rock Em’ Sock Em’ Robots have been delivery hard-hitting punches and gut-busting fun for over 40 years! You can still order them online and play this classic boxing battle game between Red Rocker and the Blue Bomber again. The game plays realistic sounds that evoke the jaw-jolting action throughout the match so you’ll be fully immersed — just don’t be the first person to get your block knocked off!