The 10 Best Personal Robots

Updated May 24, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

10 Best Personal Robots
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 23 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. We're not saying that the machines are going to take over the world, but it may be a good idea to hedge your bets by getting your youngsters one of these interactive personal robots. Then, if the worst happens, at least your kids will know how to program and dismantle the darn things before they come to wipe out your house. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best personal robot on Amazon.

10. UBTech Alpha 1S

The UBTech Alpha 1S has been around for a while, but this humanoid bot still enjoys popularity for its entertaining repertoire of movements and interactions. Cross-platform app control and 16 high-precision servo controls make its movements accurate, if a bit unsteady.
  • programmable via ios or android app
  • lacks gyros and accelerometer
  • can't import custom programs
Model Alpha 1S
Weight 7.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. WowWee CHiP

While the WowWee CHiP won't poop on your floors, one characteristic it shares with living pets is the tendency to randomly refuse to obey commands. And, just like the real thing, right when you're ready to throw your hands up in frustration, it does something endearing.
  • vocal and gesture response systems
  • plays fetch with included ball
  • gets stuck in the middle of routines
Brand Wow Wee
Model 0805
Weight 5.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Tomy i-Sobot

With gyro stabilization and 17 custom actuators, the Tomy i-Sobot delivers movements unheard of among competitors. Karate kicks, dance moves, headstands and other acrobatics are all within its agile reach. Its shortcomings are a limited battery life and difficulty turning.
  • easy custom performance programming
  • movements are smooth but may be slow
  • controller is difficult to use
Brand TOMY
Model 7365
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Meccanoid XL 2.0

The Meccanoid XL 2.0 is an extensible build kit with nuts and bolts instead of plastic bricks. It's bigger and more humanoid than other sets, making it a kid-friendly option for building and programming your own companion-sized automaton.
  • arduino programming capability
  • made from polycarbonate parts
  • takes several hours to build
Brand Meccano
Model 6028406
Weight 12.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Robotis Bioloid

One of the priciest bots on the market, the Robotis Bioloid is an advanced humanoid build kit with a small, but devoted, fan base. Assembly is complex and may take hours or days but, for serious tinkerers, the return on investment is a droid to be reckoned with.
  • adaptable usb-interface programming
  • gyro sensor and distance ranger
  • expansion ports for additional input
Model 901-0006-300
Weight 10.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. WowWee Miposaur

Virtually tethered to its TrackBall toy, the WowWee Miposaur responds variously to ten preprogrammed command protocols, depending on its current mood profile. It dances, plays games and interacts with you and its fellow WowWee brand toys, engaging other dinos in combat.
  • ios and android compatible app
  • reacts to hand gestures
  • works on carpeted and hard surfaces
Brand WowWee
Model Miposaur
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Dash and Dot

When Dash and Dot arrive fully assembled from Wonder Workshop, they come equipped with a suite of apps and tools designed to get young learners excited about programming. However, the pair's easy-to-use coding canvas and customizable interactions can be fun at any age.
  • outstanding ease of use
  • excellent app integration
  • minimal setup required
Brand Wonder Workshop
Model 1-WB04-01
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Sphero BB-8 Droid's

The Sphero BB-8 Droid's popularity is partly attributable to the Star Wars character on which it's based, but simplicity and accessibility are its real star qualities. App-enabled programming and an adaptive "personality" make learning to code with BB-8 easy and amusing.
  • gyroscopic propulsion
  • inductive charging base
  • makes holographic recordings
Brand Sphero
Model R001ROW
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Cozmo by Anki

Teacup-sized Cozmo by Anki brings machine learning and an "emotional engine" together in a playful design. The little bot's impressive repertoire of games and interactions can be grown not only via regular software updates but also through user programming and engagements.
  • playful design makes coding fun
  • affordably priced
  • smartphone app control
Brand Anki
Model 000-00048
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Lego Mindstorms EV3

Combining robust programming capabilities with the ubiquitous bricks' familiar versatility, Lego Mindstorms EV3 is the bot to beat them all. From carrying out "missions" included in the instructions to building custom bots, EV3 offers maximum bang for your robotics buck.
  • multisensory and infrared inputs
  • 9 alternative coding languages
  • suitable for various skill levels
Brand LEGO
Model 6029291
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on May 24, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with an alphabet-soup of credentials to her name, Lydia has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts, throwing herself into a broad constellation of interests. From antithetical cultural analysis to interdisciplinary combat training, she bears the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience. Reading, biking and exploring are favorite pastimes, but – with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order (not on speaking terms with a higher power) and becoming an artist (can’t even draw a respectable stick-figure) – she’d try almost anything once.

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