If there’s one common takeaway 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 2021, 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
Read More: Best CoComelon Toys
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 2021 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!
LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor
2. Sillbird STEM 12-in-1 Education Solar Robot Toys
The Sillbird STEM 12-in-1 Education Solar Robot Toys is a great option for robot toys that can grow with your child. The 12-in-1 toy has two levels of complexity and uses solar power to move the robots once they’ve been built. The STEM-based robot toy helps children learn how to follow instructions, solve problems and understand the inner workings of mechanics and engineering. Great for playing indoors and outdoors, the Sillbird has several waterproof parts that enable kids to build their robots for the water. Excellent for kids ages eight and up, the Sillbird comes with enough parts that it can be enjoyed by multiple children at once.
Sillbird STEM 12-in-1 Education Solar Robot Toys
3. Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch
BEST WEARABLE ROBOT
For a robot that kids can wear, there’s the Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch. The smartwatch allows kids to take their entertainment on the go, from playing games to accessing traditional watch features like a timer, calculator, alarm, calendar and even set reminders. Kids will enjoy playing with the built-in camera, which allows them to shoot videos and pictures and add silly stickers to their shots, with the smartwatch able to store up to 3,000 photos or 30 minutes of video. SPY received a sample of the Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch and we liked that it encouraged creativity and activity, with the Tobi tracking steps and featuring a dance activity game. It also comes with Parental Controls to make it easy for adults to set screen time limits and approve wireless connectivity connections.
Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch
4. All Terrain Batmobile RC
FOR BATMAN FANS
If you have a fan of the caped crusader in your home, they’re going to love the new All-Terrain Batmobile RC. Kids will enjoy using the 2.4GHz dual joystick controller to direct their water-resistant Batmobile through all types of terrain, with the RC boasting an impressive 100-foot range. Great for indoor and outdoor play, the RC can handle water, snow, mud, rocks, and grass and comes with a 4” Batman to place inside the car. Someone has to fight all the bad guys, right?
All Terrain Batmobile RC
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.
4M Green Science Solar Robot Kit
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.
Wonder Workshop Dash – Coding Robot
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 capable of performing 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.
Novie Interactive Smart Robot
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.
BEESTECH LED Walking Robot Dinosaur Toy
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.
Educational Insights Design and Drill Robot
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.
Sikaye RC Robot
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.
WolVol Remote Control Robot Police Toy
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.
Makeblock mBot Robot Kit
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.
Fisher Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Toy
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.
Sphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball
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.
Anki Cozmo Educational Robot Toy
Anki Cozmo Robot Collector's Edition
16. Smart Teddy
BEST FOR LEARNING GOOD HABITS
The Smart Teddy doesn’t look like your typical robot, but it is filled with fun and functioning features and commands that both parents and kids will love. The parent-enabled app helps adults guide their little ones toward healthy habits, with Smart Teddy reminding babies, toddlers, and small children to do things like brush their teeth and use the potty. Children can touch Smart Teddy’s paw to activate their favorite stories and hold Smart Teddy’s paw over an interactive sticker to signal when they want Smart Teddy to help them exercise or chat. SPY received an early sample of the interactive Smart Teddy, which looks and feels like a regular stuffy but is capable of much more. Its robot-like features teach kids, providing fun and educational facts and helping them develop good habits. It also helps to calm little ones thanks to its soothing voice and fluffy body that is perfect for hugs.
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!
Top Race Store Dancing Robot Toy
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.
Force1 Ditto Mini Talking Robot Toy
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!
Rock Em' Sock Em' Robot Toy
20. LEGO Creator Robo Explorer
BEST BUILDABLE ROBOT
The LEGO Creator Robo Explorer doesn’t have the ability to be moved by an app or controller like other robots on our list, but it does give kids the chance to practice their building skills. The set features 200 pieces and directions on how to create three distinct robots, including a robot, robot dog and robot bird. The Robo Explorer has a rotating body and head and posable arms as well as a working searchlight that can turn on with the use of batteries.
LEGO Creator Robo Explorer
21. PAWZ The Calming Pup
BEST FOR MINDFULNESS
Robot toys can be a great way to help kids learn how to build and guide a robot and expel some energy playing with their favorite toy. In the case of the newly designed PAWZ The Calming Pup, this robot-like toy helps teach mindfulness and calming techniques. Part night-light, part toy, when kids feel overwhelmed, they can follow the lighted prompts on their PAWZ and learn how to slow their breathing and calm themselves. Great for keeping in a playroom or bedroom, SPY received an early edition of PAWZ and we liked that it looks like a regular toy thanks to its cute design, but has been created to help kids relax and move through meltdowns with less stress.
PAWZ The Calming Pup
22. Original BB-8 by Sphero
COMES FULLY ASSEMBLED
For a robot that Star Wars fans can start playing with straight out of the box, there’s the hugely popular Original BB-8 by Sphero. The BB-8 arrives fully assembled with a polycarbonate shell that is durable and waterproof, making it ideal for this planet and those in a galaxy far, far away. The BB-8 has a Bluetooth connection that allows users to control the droid up to 30 meters away. Users can also control the droid using a Force Band (sold separately).
Original BB-8 by Sphero
23. Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot
NON-SCREEN TIME CODING ROBOT
For an educational robot that teaches coding without the need for a screen, it doesn’t get much better than the Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot. An excellent STEM toy for kids ages five and older, Botley allows kids to learn coding with a hands-on experience that enables them to turn their friendly robot into a police car, ghost, and more. SPY received a sample of the Botley and we liked its user-friendly design, as well as its ability to be paired with expanded coding sets that allow the toy to grow with young coders. The Botley comes with a brightly colored and clearly marked controller that enables kids to move the robot, turn on music and lights and more.
Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot
24. WeDraw Interactive Talking Robot
BEST FOR YOUNG ARTISTS
For a robot that helps kids engage with their artistic side and improve their penmanship, as well as reading and writing skills, we like the WeDraw Interactive Talking Robot. Nicknamed the Eggy, the robot comes with several age-appropriate lessons for preschoolers and young students. Using the different cards included, the Eggy and its robot arm help kids learn to draw and write letters and shapes. Older kids will have fun with the interactive math lessons and matching games. The screen-free robot is ideal for kids ages three to six who want to continue learning outside the classroom in a fun and interactive setting.
WeDraw Interactive Talking Robot
25. HEXBUG BattleBots Rivals Platinum
BEST TWO PLAYER ROBOTS
Need a robot set that can keep two kids busy at once? We like the HEXBUG BattleBots Rivals Platinum combo, which comes with Whiplash and Sawblaze. Designed for kids ages eight and up, the rechargeable Hexbugs each have their own controller and four multi-functional weapons. Multi channels allow for up to four robots to battle at once, with the robots able to slam, slash, spin, and lift the competition. A great set for fans of Hexbug who want to add to their battle zone, the robots are compatible with existing IR robots.