Top Programmable Robot Kits for 2017 Reviewed

Our Number 1 Pick


Our winning programmable robot kit is the 2-in-1 Transformable DIY Programmable Robot Kit because it is easy to assemble, intuitive and is easy to program

Have you checked the latest craze in programmable robot kits lately? These are educational toys which are generally a bit more expensive than other popular toys for kids such as Lego, building blocks and STEM toys. Programmable robot kits work more like build a robot kits. However, with programmable robot kits, they also teach kids how to program in an easier and fun way.

If you are confused on which programmable robot kits are the best for your kid, this review might help. We will share the benefits of programmable robot kits and will also give you some tips on how to choose the best one.​

What Makes Programmable Robot Kits Great Educational Toys

Programmable Robot Kits Help in Fine Motor Skills Development

With programable robot kits, kids get to work with small components and put them together to form a robot. This activity can help in developing their fine motor abilities. Kids need to master their fine motor skills as it is vital to their daily life (source). Moreover, it is also believed that fine motor integration is a significant predictor of mathematical ability (source).

Programmable Robot Kits Keep Kids Busy

With the popularity of electronic gadgets, many kids now are spending more time in front of a screen. Screen time is associated with obesity, sleeping problems, depression and anxiety (source). With programmable robot kits, kids will have something to keep them busy with while learning and having fun instead of just watching TV or playing video games.

Programable Robot Kits Teach Kids the Basic of Programming

Programmable robot kits allow kids to build a robot and program them to make certain actions. Most of these programmable robot kits also come with lessons in coding, electronics and robotics that can either be in print or soft copy, teaching kids the basics in these areas.

Deciding Factors When Shopping for Programmable Robot Kits for Kids

The best programmable robot kits for kids are easy to assemble.

For beginners, the best programmable kits are those that are easy to assembly and do not involve time-consuming procedures such as soldering and the like. It is best to leave programmable robot kits with more complex systems to advanced users or older kids.

The best programmable robot kits for kids have reliable power source.

The power source of most programmable robot kits for kids can either be removable batteries or a built-in one. Built-in batteries are generally safer for younger kids. They are also compact and can be charged via solar panels, a standard plug or a USB cable. On the other hand, removable batteries may be rechargeable or not. Programmable robot kits with rechargeable batteries are normally more expensive than those with disposable batteries, but in the long run, you could save on rechargeable ones.

The best programmable robot kits for kids have a certain degree of mobility.

The best programmable robot kits for kids will not be as enjoyable unless they can show a certain degree of mobility which may include walking, dancing, articulating of the limbs and the like. Some more advanced programmable robot kits may also have sensors that allow them to detect obstacles, preventing them from bumping or falling down the stairs.

The best programmable robot kits for kids can be operated remotely.

The most basic programmable robot kits for kids can generally be controlled by a standard remote control. However, more advanced programmable robot kits can now be controlled using a smart device or by doing certain gestures. These programmable robot kits give you more flexibility when it comes to maneuvering your toy.

The best programmable robot kits for kids should have interactive features.

Interactivity is what makes programmable robot kits amusing and fun. Normally, you would be able to check the interactive features of programmable robot kits on their packaging. Some of these robots have changing LED lights, while other can utter certain words or phrases, and still other robots may be able to dance or do certain tasks.

How to Choose the Best Programmable Robot Kit Toys

The best programmable robot kit is surprisingly not the cheapest nor the most expensive robots. They generally contain most, if not all, of the best features we listed above. One factor is important though. When you buy a programmable robot kit, choose the one that is appropriate for your child’s age. That way, he or she can gain optimal benefits from the robot.

​Video: Overview of Robot Kits

While this video is an overview of a particular brand, it may also give you an idea how other programmable robot kits in the market work.​

Best Programmable Robot Kits

Quality

Price

Our Rating

If you are looking to compare programmable robots, this toy is among the programmable robot kits worth considering. It is designed for kids aged 8 and above. Tomo is a 2-in-one robot that works as a tricycle or a dicycle. It can follow lines, race, avoid obstacles and do other tasks.

Players can interact with this robot using two free apps, one for controlling and one for playing. Even younger kids can easily put this kit together as the part are all labeled while the ports are color-coded.

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PROS

  • Easy to assemble
  • App is easy to download
  • Solid construction
  • Easy to program
  • Intuitive

CONS

  • With a few complaints about its sensors not sensitive enough

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Once fully assembled and programmed, this robot can play tunes, solve mazes, follow or avoid lights, navigate, detect edges and more. It is among the programmable robot kits that can do a wide range of things. Also, it is one of the best programmable robot kits that promote STEM learning.

With this programmable robot, kids will be able to learn how to program while learning and having fun. It comes with over 40 programmable parts that include an LCD display, grippers, line-following sensors, light sensors, speakers for music and more. Apart from that, it comes with 100 lessons on open source programming.

PROS

  • Comes preassembled
  • Multiple programming options
  • Well made

CONS

  • A bit pricey
  • Limited movement for the arms

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Graphical programming can be a hard subject, but with the aid of quality programmable robot kits like this one, kids will learn in a fun way. mBot Kit is among the programmable robot kits designed for beginners. It is a STEM toy that introduces the concepts of programming robotics and electronics to kids.

This kit contains 38 parts that kids can easily assemble. For convenient wiring, all its ports are color-labeled. Additionally, kids can program this robot with a drag-and-drop programming software. Kids can program it to avoid obstacles, play tunes and do other tasks. They can control it via an online app.

mBot kit is compatible with other Makeblock kits and most Lego parts.​

PROS

  • Fun to assemble
  • Easy to program
  • Can do multiple tasks

CONS

  • Some users have issues with programming it

Quality

Price

Our Rating

For first-time robot builders, it is among the best programmable robot kits to start working on. It comes with step-by-step programming tutorials for programming in C, building sensors and wiring circuits, and to navigate on its own.

This programmable robot works in C on Mac, Linux and Windows using IDE software. It comes with multicore propeller control for quickly integrating the components. Moreover, because it uses servo motors with optical encoders, it is consistent and fast in maneuvering. The navigational system of this robot uses touch, infrared light, visible light and ultrasonic sensors.​

PROS

  • Multiple onboard memory
  • With numerous sensors
  • It moves fast
  • It can sing

CONS

  • Expensive

Meccano - Micronoid

Quality

Price

Our Rating

With a simple push of a button, kids will be able to program this robot to dance and make some movements. Meccano is among the simplest programmable robot kits on this list. It is also one of the least expensive programmable robot kits available.

Meccano is great for beginners. Kids can easily assemble its pieces. And with a push of a button, kids can program this robot to walk, wiggle, dance or turn and smash through obstacles.​

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to program
  • Good quality

CONS

  • Not much programming feature

Among the best programmable robot kits we have listed here, our top choice is the 2-in-1 Transformable DIY Programmable Robot Kit. It is not very expensive, yet it is well-made and highly intuitive. Kids will have a great experience programming it because it has easy-to-follow instructions. As it is designed for beginners including kids aged 8 and above, this robot is easy to program. Kids can also easily control it using an app.