Every great sci-fi movie contains a great robot, and you might have noticed, but some of the best animated movies of the past decade have had a focus on cool robots too. Wall-E, Big Hero 6, The Iron Giant, Iron Man — they’re all incredibly popular among kids, and they prominently feature a robot hero. And if you look at the video game world, there are so many great games that feature robots as well, including Ratchet & Clank, Borderlands, and Fallout 4. Why? Simply put, robots are cool.
In fact, if you didn’t have an imaginary robot pal when you were a kid, you probably weren’t being a kid right. Robots are all around us, especially in our connected world. Those little computers in our pockets are basically robots, are they not? But, despite the fact that we’re constantly surrounded by them, kids want more robots in their lives.
So if your child seems to be amazed by robotics and things you can control with a remote, check out our ultimate list of the top 11 best robot toys for kids:
1. Anki Cosmo
The best robot toy available in 2017 is the Anko Cosmo — one of the hottest new toys of last year. Simply put, this is THE smartest robot toy you’ll currently find commercially available. Cozmo is loaded with personality, and he’s compatible with iOS and Android devices. The more you play with Cozmo, the more games and upgrades you’ll unlock. He hits the sweetspot where artificial intelligence/supercomputer meets trusty sidekick. He doesn’t just move here and there, but he actually wants to learn new things, which fuels his hunger to explore. He can be programmed with new interactions as well, thanks to the Cozmo Software Developers Kit (SDK).
2. MiP Robot
There are quite a few great MiP Robots available by WowWee, but our favorite is the black MiP robot. It has a sort of “police the area” look to it, but what makes it unique is that it communicates using motions, sounds and RGB LED eyes. It balances on two wheels and scoots about the room its in with expert balance. This kid-friendly robot can also balance multiple objects, and has numerous modes including Roam, Stacking, Programming, and Dance. To activate these different modes, you simply turn the right wheel, and the big glowing LED on its chest changes color, meaning a new mode has been activated. We recommend trying the dancing mode first — something about robots and dancing always makes kids smile! There’s also an app that can be used as a remote. All around, the MiP Robot is one of the best gifts for boys and girls alike.
3. Zoomer Dino
If you follow Heavy, you probably noticed that I’m a lover of dinosaur toys, and one of the best dino toys I frequently recommend is the Zoomer Dino. It was one of 2015’s best toys for boys, and now that it comes in at under $50, we love it even more! It comes with a super simple remote, which is a surprise since the dinosaur robot is so smart. In fact, like the MiP robot, he uses smart balancing technology to balance on two wheels. He can sense where you are and what you’re doing. He works on a charge, so you’ll only need batteries for the remote control (it takes three AAA batteries, so they’ll last for quite a while before you need to replace them). He even has a chomper button, as well as an angry button, which sends your dinosaur into a frenzy of fury.
Price: $46.89 (53 percent off MSRP)
4. Meccano MeccaNoid G15
Some of the best moments I’ve had with my own son over the past year were when we were working together putting together his Meccano MeccaNoid G15. It comes with over 600 pieces, and some of them are rather small, which is why it’s recommended for ages 10+ (although, my 7 year old had no problem following the directions with a little help). This kit allows you to build your own personal robot, program him and play with him. The G15 was a hot commodity this past Christmas, and it has become a favorite choice for robot toys for kids.
Price: $90.99 (49 percent off MSRP)
5. Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid
The other big robot this past holiday season was the Sphero BB-8 App-enabled droid, which swept the nation of toy-lovers, and even made it on our list of the best BB-8 toys for sale. This little droid is controlled with your smartphone (works with both iOS and Android), and he’s able to listen to and respond, reacting to the voices around him. You can also record “holographic” videos and replay them later on. He’s undeniably charming, and your kids will have a blast controlling him with their phones.
6. Zoomer Kitty, Interactive Cat
Although not quite as advanced as the Zoomer Dino, there’s still plenty of room in our hearts for the Zoomer Kitty, an interactive robot cat toy that makes the “PURRfect” friend (their words, not mine). The cat plays with your children like a real cat would, and it even has touch sensors in its head, ears and cheeks. It’ll nuzzle your children just like a real cat would, and she’ll perform tricks. What’s more, she’ll follow her interactive kitty toy. She has a Cuddle Mode, Pounce Mode, and more, and she even sings and dances.
Price: $94.95 (5 percent off MSRP)
7. WowWee Robosapien Humanoid Toy Robot RC
A couple of years ago, one of the big hot toys of the year was the WowWee Robosapien, a humanoid robot brimming with personality (admittedly, PROGRAMMED personality, but still cool). He has fluid motions and gestures, and he has two speeds. He has four programming modes that allow him to do different things, like react to touch, pick up, kicks or sound. His hands grab, and his eyes light up. He can dance, and his moves are sure to make your kids laugh.
Price: $79.99 (11 percent off MSRP)
8. OWI 14-in-1 Solar Robot Kit
Solar energy is becoming ever important, and teaching your kids about solar energy and how to harness it is important. Believe it or not, robots can be used as educational toys, and one of our favorite learning tools is the OWI 14-in-1 Solar Robot Kit. It helps to teach children how to create solar powered robots, with two different levels of building skills. So whether they’re a beginner or an experienced crafter, there are plans in this kit that will keep them entertained. They’ll create various walking robots and robots that use wheels to get around, all of which are powered by the sun — that means no batteries required.
Price: $24.30 (38 percent off MSRP)
9. Combat Creatures Attacknid Doom Razor
Of course, it’s important to note that robots don’t have to be learning tools, either. In fact, some of the best robots for kids available right now come in the form of battle bots, just like this Attacknid Doom Razor by Combat Creatures. It’s a remote controlled robot that allows users to march over any terrain. It has a head that rotates a full 360 degrees to ensure that your robot never gets stuck. It has a 200 foot range and is controlled with a 2.4ghz remote. What’s more, battling this robot with a friend’s robot is an absolutely awesome experience. The battle bot can take damage (the legs pop off and on), and if the bot takes three hits to the electronic brain, it shuts down. It fires discs, and the battles can become pretty competitive.
10. Spy Gear Spy Video TRAKR
Kids love to spy on things, or at least, they love to think they’re spying on things. The Spy Gear Video TRAKR will allow them to do just that. It records live video and sends a feed directly to the controller. The camera has night vision, too, so they’ll be able use it to traverse the hallways late at night. It has an SD card slot to allow for the recording of videos (although it’s likely they won’t even use that feature). Admittedly, this spy robot has been around for a few years. However, that means there are tons of applications available for it, thanks to the fact that it uses C++ programming. Programs can be found online, and your kids will have a blast playing with it and getting their siblings into trouble for doing something they shouldn’t.
11. ThinkGizmos Super Fun RC Robo Shooter
When you first turn on the Robo Shooter by ThinkGizmos, he says, “Greetings Master. I await your command!” Immediately, it sends a jolt of excitement through your child. This kids robot comes with a remote control that’s easy to hold, and it allows the user to move the robot into position. Once in position, they’re able to shoot mini foam discs from its chest, taking out foes in its path. But he’s not just a shooting robot — he dances as well! He has a dance button that will send him into a dancing frenzy. He can walk in all directions, and he stands at 30 cm tall. He requires 6 AA batteries, but it’s well worth the battery burn, as your kids will absolutely adore their new robot friend.
Price: $35.00 (50 percent off MSRP)