10 Best Robot Kits | May 2017

10 Best Robot Kits
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 17 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. With home automation taking over the mundanities of household management, self-driving cars roaming the streets, and smartphones guiding us through our daily routines, artificial intelligence is everywhere these days. Building and programming machines isn't just for nerds anymore, and these robot kits make it easy and fun to hone your information-age DIY skills. Skip to the best robot kit on Amazon.
10
The Smithsonian Robo Spider is offered at a surprisingly bargain-bin price point, and the prospect of terrorizing the household with a motorized creepy-crawly may be just the motivation certain young learners need to get excited about STEM education.
  • appropriate for ages 8 and up
  • plastic parts wear out quickly
  • requires adult supervision
Brand Smithsonian
Model 52278
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
9
Putting a friendly face on the equivalent of an itty-bitty Sherman tank or whimsical 3-wheeler, the Makeblock DIY starter set employs Scratch 2.0 and Arduino to program and manipulate the plucky little vehicle to your geeky heart's content.
  • available in bluetooth or ir version
  • connecting to pc may be tricky
  • directions leave much to be desired
Brand Makeblock
Model pending
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
7
Building the 8 customizable motorized bots included in the Thames and Kosmos Smart Machines set provides a multisensory introduction to the fundamentals of robotics design and functionality. Straightforward instructions and preloaded demo programs simplify the process.
  • ultrasonic sensor control
  • comes with illustrated user guide
  • bt-enabled smart device required
Brand Thames & Kosmos
Model 620375
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
6
Designed to introduce kids to basic programming and automation concepts via the assembly and coding process, the Owi Robotic Arm Edge has a rotating base and an articulated gripper with a wide range of motion for grasping and manipulating objects within its reach.
  • attachable to fixed or mobile base
  • good starter project for beginners
  • handling tiny parts may be difficult
Brand OWI
Model OWI-535
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
5
The Hexbug Vex IQ combines snap-together components with an open-source design to create STEM learning experiences that are as endlessly entertaining as they are accessible. It comes preloaded with basic programming software and a dozen self-configuring input/output ports.
  • includes gaming-style remote control
  • no tools required for assembly
  • yearly international competitions
Brand Hexbug
Model 228-4444
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
Taking Raspberry Pi on the road, the Dexter Industries GoPiGo is inexpensive and easy enough for a child to assemble, but every bit as engaging for grown-ups to tinker with. Comprehensive online support and documentation provide a wealth of tools for customizing your Pi.
  • programmable using scratch
  • smartphone and browser compatible
  • no soldering required
Brand Dexter Industries
Model 2
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
3
With their playful design and easy-to-use coding interface, Dash and Dot by Wonder Workshop can charm the socks off aspiring programmers of all ages. They play music and games, launch miniature projectiles and teach problem-solving skills through engaging activities.
  • suitable for kids as young as 6
  • cross-platform smartphone compatible
  • can be used with lego bricks
Brand Wonder Workshop
Model 1-WB04-01
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
2
The name every high-tech tinkering kid has drilled into their parents' brains is Lego Mindstorms EV3, the brick-based set that transforms into multiple prototypes and can be programmed using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface or more advanced coding options.
  • comes with various practice missions
  • interactive voice control
  • well-established online community
Brand LEGO
Model 6029291
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
1
The Elegoo Mega 2560 project package offers everything you need to start building and coding with Arduino – at a remarkably painless price point. Backed by a reputation for superior technical support and customer service, it's the ultimate swag for amateur roboticists.
  • includes cd with over 35 tutorials
  • organizing storage case
  • geared toward pre-teens to adults
Brand Elegoo
Model EL-KIT-008
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

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Last updated on May 17, 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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