There’s nothing quite like the curiosity robots manage to instil in us all. There’s something fascinating about the way they move, the sounds they make and how they evolve.
This is our list of the best science toys out there, from robot dogs to fully programmable mini tanks.
Whether you’re on the search for the perfect Christmas gift or simply passionate about gadgets, these robots will put R2-D2 and HAL 9000 to shame.
Looking for more ideas? Check out our list of the best science toys for the bored and the curious.
Remote control robot dog toy
Robot dogs are something of a classic. From K9 in Doctor Who, to the more sinister robot dogs of Black Mirror’s “Metalhead” episode, there seems to be something of a fascination with our electronic canine friends.
This dog from YIMAN, thankfully, is remote control. So it’s less likely to try and bite your hand off. It comes with an infrared remote control with a control range of 33 foot, as well as voice control. It’s also well trained: able to dance, do push-ups, handstands, crouch and bark. If you applaud twice, it even activates a dance mode.
It has flexible limbs made of shatterproof ABS plastic, safe for children from 3 and up. There’s also a rechargeable battery, allowing for two hours of fun, charged by a USB.
KEYESTUDIO Smart Mini Tank Robot
This robot is designed to teach the basics of Arduino, a prototyping platform designed for anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. It can help anyone get started with robotics and programming.
Suitable from 14 years and up, this tank robot comes as a DIY kit for a two-drive tracked vehicle. There are a number of different functions possible, to help inspire as much creativity as possible.
Users can use photo-resistors to make the robot follow light or even use the ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles and change direction. The robot can also be controlled by a Bluetooth or Infrared remote control, it’s the perfect gift for a budding engineer.
Build Your Own Robot Arm
This clever robot arm provides a miniature simulation of the robots used in car factories and other manufacturing industries. It features 5 motors that can be controlled using a handset, perfect for learning about basic robotics for ages 8 and upwards.
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The structure allows users to pick up items of up to 1.7”. It’s able to lift up to 100g and can pivot 180 degrees at the wrist and 300 degrees at the elbow, as well as a 180-degree base motion. There’s even an LED searchlight, so darkness is no obstacle.
Xtrem Bots – James The Spy Bot
This robot is a spy companion, allowing users to record sounds and conversations undercover. He can also record secret messages and deliver them, changing the tone of voice to hide the identity of the messenger.
Suitable to be used by ages 5 and up, James is programmable for up to 50 actions and more than 20 functions. He also functions with 2 speeds and 2 movement modes, as well as being able to play music and LED lights. His remote control will work up to a range of more than 5m, perfect for even the most perilous of covert operations.
Fao Schwarz Sharper Image – Remote Control Dinosaur
This little Robotosaur packs a Jurassic punch. It’s a remote-controlled dinosaur that can walk at speed, as well as spin, stomp and sit. It’s your very own trained tyrannosaurus, suitable for anyone from 7 and up.
The LED eyes also change colour, depending on whether the dinosaur is letting out a fearsome roar or in attack/hunting mode. There’s even a wide range of emotions, activated by the remote control, including sniffs and snarls. Holding the “come” button will even make the Robotosaur follow the antennae on the remote control.
Looking for more dinosaurs? Check out our list of the 17 best dinosaur toys for adults and children.
Xtrem Bots – Elite Trooper
The Elite Trooper from Xtrem Bots brings the future into now. Standing at an impressively tall 35cm, this remote-controlled robot is a great introduction to robotics for children from 5 and up, with 50 programmable actions.
It has a number of different facial expressions and LED eyes, plus the controller is able to move both arms, and activate walking and sliding modes. The right arm has a suction dart missile shooter, aimed and fired using the remote. It’s the perfect ally.
GILOBABY RC Walking and Dancing Kids Robot
This cute little robot is suitable for ages 3 and up, the perfect Christmas gift for any robot lover. The Gilobaby features a movable head with cute LED eyes, plus movable arms and tank tracks that slide left and right, able to rotate 360 degrees.
The 6 wheels mean the robot can move and dance at will, entirely via a remote controller. The dancing commences at the touch of a button, plus the robotic sounds have the option of being muted. This robot also comes in a number of different colours, so if this is a gift, you’ll be able to select the perfect model.