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Best robot toys


Futuristic TV shows, movies, and sci-fi books often have robot characters. It’s a given that this type of technology will be a part of everyday life in the future.

If you’d like to give your kids a head start on that sci-fi future, you can purchase reasonably priced robotic toys today. Sure, these toys aren’t going to clean your house like the Jetson family’s Rosie the Robot, but they’re fun to control and program.

Read our buying guide to learn more about robotic toys on the market, including our favorite, Wonder Workshop Dash Robot, which is durable and easy to control.


Assembling a kit

Some robotic toys arrive preassembled, which is easier for younger kids. For an older child who likes to build, you can purchase a kit you can assemble before using it as a robot.

Using the robot

Basic robotic toys are simple toys that generate lights and noise. Mid-range robots have preprogramming and kids can drive them or give them commands. The most advanced toys have an educational slant, as you can program them yourself and learn about coding at the same time.

Age ranges

When picking a toy for a young child, be cautious of buying one that’s aimed at older kids, even if the youngster really likes robots. Many toys for older kids need assembly, and they may contain many small parts. These parts could become a choking hazard for younger children.



Rather than including a remote control, manufacturers may create an app you can download to a tablet or smartphone. You then use your own device to run the robotic toy. This is handy, but your phone is out of commission while the child plays with the robot. For this reason, some people prefer a separate remote control unit.

Audio features

Beeps, whistles, and voice simulation are fun features on a robot — until you’ve heard them at full volume for the millionth time. The majority of robotic toys have volume control, so reduce the sound to a reasonable level before you start playing and keep it there.


Robotic toys may have a series of challenges or games you can play. These can be a fun way to learn how to use the robot. Games in a robot typically appeal to younger users. Older users may prefer the challenges of programming a robot to perform certain tasks or to move in a certain way.


Kids are sure to inadvertently drive the robot down a flight of steps or into a wall many times. Any robot that’s fragile is not going to survive long. No robot is indestructible, but some are more able to stand up to rough treatment than others.


The most affordable robotic toys work for very young children and cost $15-$50. Once you are ready for toys you can program yourself or that have precision-building kits, expect to pay $50-$300.


Q. Does the toy need to connect to my WiFi?

A. Many robotic toys make a WiFi connection. When it’s connected to your WiFi network, you can use other devices on the network (like a smartphone) to operate the toy.

Q. Is battery life good with robotic toys?

A. An average toy can run for four to six hours between charges. However, some operate as little as one hour per charge.


Top robotic toy

Wonder Workshop’s Dash Robot

Our take: Fun toy for any school age child, as it’s easy to learn how to use and to maneuver around.

What we like: Uses an app to control the robot, which keeps things simple. This robot has a nice level of durability.

What we dislike: You may notice some incompatibilities with certain control devices. Pricey.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top robotic toy for the money

Sphero’s R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid

Our take: Great toy either for those who love Star Wars characters or for those who love robotics.

What we like: Operates smoothly using a smartphone app. Uses movements that match how R2-D2 moves in the movies.

What we dislike: Requires frequent charging, as the battery capacity is less than other robots.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Anki’s Cozmo

Our take: This robot has plenty of preprogrammed options, which makes it easy to use at first, and you can then add more programming yourself.

What we like: Has an audio function and animated eyes that create a more lifelike experience.

What we dislike: Expensive. Does not run on its own, as it only operates when you have the companion app active.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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