Best Robots for Kids

By Phill Powell

There’s a new generation of electronic playmates that are not only cool, they’re designed to make learning easy and fun. Through games and other interactive activities, these robots stimulate mental development – and can perform lots of other tricks.

MiP_boxing
MiP robots are the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots of the Digital Age.

Several companies have created amazing futuristic robotic toys – but are they worth the money? We rounded up the best robots for kids based on features, price and functions:

Dot and Dash

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Dot and Dash robots work with programming app Blockly, which kids access via a tablet.

Price: $199-$349
Best for: Ages 5-12
Who Makes It: Wonder Workshop
What Makes it Awesome: Dot and Dash are a pair of robots, each with complementary features. Each robot can be played with individually or together. Dot and Dash can also be used with Blockly, a programming app that kids access on their iPads. Here, they can create their own activities for Dot and Dash. Plus, Dot and Dash can be used with attachments for LEGO bricks.
Coolest Feature: Kids will melt from their warm interactions from the robots, including the simulated blinking of eyes.

MiP

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MiP robots are versatile entertainers. Line dancing is also included in their programming.

Price: $99
Best for: Ages 8+
Who Makes It: WowWee Group Limited
What Makes it Awesome: MiP robots are hard to ignore for sheer showmanship. The robots can perform a variety of awesome feats that will thrill young and old. Most impressive among its bag of tricks are when it shows off its balancing capabilities – like when MiP is bringing you a can of soda.
Coolest Feature: Two MiPs can be made to battle like classic Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.

KIBO

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For a kindler, gentler robotics experience, go with KIBO.

Price: $229-$399
Best for: Ages 4-7
Who Makes It: KinderLab Robotics
What Makes it Awesome: KIBO robots look much less imposing than other robots, but that’s by design. Developed by Tuft University researchers who wanted to create the most kid-friendly, non-threatening robot possible, KIBO features mostly wooden construction and a series of connected wooden blocks that uses bar-codes to teach kids how a programming sequence works.
Coolest Feature: A rich 3D learning and playing experience. The toys are sturdy and fun to interact with.

LEGO Mindstorms EV3

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LEGO’s EV3 system represents peak value in robotics, and its modular approach has many uses.

Price: $349
Best for: Ages 10+
What Makes it Awesome: LEGO EV3 robotics kit is the biggest and best-known robot. The modular system makes it easy to create entirely new subspecies of robots. Because of LEGO’s expandability and nearly limitless parts and combinations, kids can make a robot that does almost anything…but it can be challenging for kids to get started. Digital Media Academy’s tech summer camps can show kids how to truly make the most of the LEGO EV3 while they are also learning robotics.
Coolest Feature: LEGO’s EV3 robots complete incredible tasks like climbing ropes and cables. Plus, kids can challenge each other with LEGO robot battles.
Who Makes It: LEGO

Peek-a-Boo, Mira Sees You!
Mira is a clever robot created by Pixar employees. And while this robot isn’t available in stores (yet), it’s very cool. Just watch how this ingenious little robot plays peek-a-boo:

Where Robotics Fun is Taken Very Seriously
We’re a long way from the days of Teddy Ruxpin. Robotics is a great way to introduce kids to the expanding world of technology. It’s an incredibly cool subject that’s at the forefront of today’s tech revolution.

Robotics is rapidly changing how we live, work and play. Digital Media Academy robotics camps are changing the way kids and teens think about their future. Instead of waiting for some far-away future, DMA shows young people that they can begin expressing their creativity through technology, and start doing it right away.