When Robi the Robot by DeAgostini was launched, my son took a liking to him immediately. Well, I guess, most people did, judging by the crowd at the roadshow. What I liked about it was that it was the first robot I saw that had artificial intelligence. It could move, sing, dance, respond to over 250 voice commands as well as act as an infrared TV remote control.
Yes, definitely a cool toy to have except that it isn’t sold over the counter. You would have to assemble it from parts that are collected over 70 magazine issues sent over 70 weeks. And even if that doesn’t deter you, the price of over $2000 might. So, knowing that it may not be in my Christmas list in the near future, I did some research and was delighted to find out that there are more affordable toy robots in the market.
What I would like in the toy robot, besides being loads of fun, is for it to be educational too. And I believe I have found some toy robots that offer educational fun as well as being affordable at less than $50.
4M Tin Can Robot
The first on the list is the cheapest at $10.25, known as the 4M Tin Can Robot. With this fun robotics kit, you can cultivate your child’s creativity and imagination. All you need is to get an empty tin can or bottle to complete this toy robot … and of course, lots of imagination. The supplied parts and detailed easy-to-follow instructions allow kids (and adults) to build a fun motorized robot.
- Children can assemble a fun robot or mechanical monster that they will be proud of
- Children can learn about mechanical principles
- Children can learn about recycling
What I like about this is that besides introducing robotics to my child, he is also learning the value of recycling. In fact, this is similar to getting a Robi, in the sense that I get to build a functional robot with my son. You can get this easy and affordable yet fun 4M Tin Can Robot here.
LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Robo Explorer 31062 Robot Toy
The next toy robot on the list is by a brand we all know and love — LEGO! My son loves to play with his Lego Classic set and has many, many times asks me to create robots with the Lego bricks. Therefore, the Robo Explorer would be a perfect present for kids who love Lego and robots. Besides being amazingly affordable for less than $18, you not only get 1 but 3 ‘robots’ in total (though, with some imagination, you can create hundreds of designs). The 3 ‘robots’ consists of the main robot Robo Explorer, a smaller robot dog and a robot bird.
The robots are interesting as they have movable body parts. You can shake ‘paws’ with the robot dog. After playing with it, it can then zoom off on its jet pack. Using the Lego light brick, you can even light up the jet pack. You can flap the wings of the robot bird as well as watch its eyes light up. The heads are attached to a ball joint so they can be rotated. Robo Explorer is the main robot and uses all the Lego brick. It features bright-green eyes, working tracks, rotating body and head, a claw-like arm for picking up things and a searchlight arm that lights up. The Robo Explorer stands over 4” (11cm) tall, the robot dog stands over 2” (7cm) tall and the robot bird stands over 3” (8cm) tall.
While I know playing and creating with these Lego designs would be loads of fun, care should be taken as there are many small parts. Adult supervision may be necessary. Recommended age by manufacturer is from 7 to 12 years old. The Lego Robo Explorer can be purchased here.
Tenergy Odev Geo STEM DIY Building Toy 2-in-1 Salt Water or Solar Powered Robot Car Kit
I really like experimenting with DIY kits because they ‘teach’ creativity and improve motor skills. For less than $20, I found a DIY robot car that is powered by salt water or the sun known as the Geo Robot. The Geo Robot is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) educational DIY robot kit that teaches young children about alternative energy sources.
Powered by renewable energy like salt water or direct sunlight means playing with the Geo Robot is safe and non toxic. According to the description, kids will learn how to use these alternative green energy sources to power up Geo and see the robot zip away from their fingertips. Educational fun facts are also included in the instruction manual.
Geo Robot is only 80 x 56 x 58mm and weighs 45g. Please note that either salt water or solar powered robot can be built at a time. If your child opts to use salt water, then magnesium oxide residue will be found on the metal plates. Although safe to handle, care should be taken not to get it in the eyes or mouth. Therefore, the recommended age for this toy is from 8 years old.
T-rex Dinosaur 3D Puzzle Walking Wooden Robot Toy
The next toy robot on my list is unique in the sense that it is nothing like a robot … but it is. It is a combination of things that most boys would love: dinosaur, robot, puzzles. Although the recommended age is 6 years and above, assembling it may require adult help. Having said that, assembling this T-rex Dinosaur 3D Puzzle Robot is a great and fun activity for the whole family.
What’s amazing about this 3D puzzle dinosaur is that is walks … and roars! It is sound activated so all you have to do is make some noise and watch this dino come to life. Clap your hands, laugh or shout at it to see it move (and roar) just like a real T-rex. The wood to make the puzzle is safe, non-toxic and of the highest quality by Wowood Toys. The company only uses top quality imported real wood that is environmental and eco-friendly.
The T-rex Dinosaur 3D Puzzle Walking Robot is definitely a great Christmas gift as not only does it encourage laughter, it brings along great entertainment. It is on flash sale now for $29.80.
Thinkgizmos Robo Shooter
The final toy robot in this list reminds me of Robocop. In fact, it sounds like it too. Robo Shooter by Thinkgizmos is only $35 which is reasonable for a remote control robot that comes with a lot of cool features.
As its name suggests, this robot shoots soft foam discs (think mini Frisbee) from its chest. It can also talk, dance and walk (more like gliding) in all directions. It is also programmable so it can move and fire on its own. Do note that this RC robot requires 6AA batteries that are not included with the purchase.
While this robot is not educational per se, it does provide a lot of fun for children. Children can entertain themselves by learning to program the robot too.
Robo Shooter can be purchased here.