Oh, the joy of spending a day in the lab! If this exclamation describes your enthusiasm for tinkering with electronics, especially if the end result is a robot, you are in the right place. Robotics kits come in various forms skill-level-wise, so you will likely find one that meets your desired level of engagement. When you sit down to build a robot, you experience more than a lesson in electronics. There’s an opportunity to gain knowledge about how solar energy can be used to power motors, stretch your creativity, and just have fun.
What to Consider in a Robotics Kit
Here’s what to think about first:
- Investment: It matters how much money, but even more importantly, how much time you are willing to invest in completing a project. If you’re ready to delve into the intricacies of electronics as a course to eventually program your own robot, there’s a product for you. If you want to get to playtime faster, you’ll find that, too.
- Skill Level: What’s your or your child’s current skill level? What do you want to learn? Some products require some prior electronics knowledge; others are meant for kids with little to no science experience.
- Variety: It may surprise you to know that many robot kits include the materials and instructions to build several different robots. You’ll find solar-operated moving dog bots, turtle bots, and car bots. Some operate via mobile device apps; others require nothing more than the parts, a few instructions, and your attention.
Solar-Powered Kit: Sillbird STEM Solar Robot Toys
What can this robot do? Well, it can challenge your kid, that’s for sure. With the Sillbird STEM robot kit, your child can create up to 12 different robots! There’s a land and water roaming turtle bot, beetle-bot, puppy-bot, and more. Your kid will learn how solar heat can be used to power an electric motor. Other lessons include problem-solving skills, logical thinking, creativity, and teamwork.
Sillbird STEM 12-in-1 Education Solar Robot Toys -190 Pieces DIY Building Science Experiment Kit for Kids Aged 8-10 and Older,Solar Powered by The Sun
Make 12 different solar-powered robots with your friends. Learn the power of problem-solving and creativity.
Best Starter Kit: ELEGOO Mega 2560
The ELEGOO Mega 2560 is considered a starter kit because it contains everything (maybe more) a person needs to geek out on electronics. The essential items include the LCD1602 Display module, DC Motors and L293D Transistor, and 74HC595 Shift Register and LEDs. At least one thing you’ll learn is how to control the DC motor by using a Mega2560 board and an L293D transistor. While this is not a robotics kit specifically, the Mega 2560 is one step on the way to making and operating your own robot. It’s for kids with more advanced electronics knowledge wanting to dive deeper, as well as adults.
ELEGOO Mega R3 Project The Most Complete Ultimate Starter Kit w/ TUTORIAL Compatible with Arduino IDE
This may be a starter kit, but it's not necessarily for beginners. The product supplies you with a ton of electronic parts and accessories to experiment with. It's a stepping stone on your path to building and programming your own robot.
Program & Customize: Robotics Smart Machines
Your child will learn to build eight different motorized robots and write the programs to control them. You need an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone on hand because your child will need to access the app interface to complete the programming. Once setup is complete, your kid will use the ultrasonic sensor to manipulate the robot’s movements.
Thames & Kosmos | Robotics Smart Machines | Robotics for Kids 8 and up | STEM Kit builds 8 Robots | Full Color Manual to help with assembly | Requires tablet or smartphone | Parents' Choice Gold Award
With this robot kit, your kid can utilize their knowledge of smartphones and apps with their growing interest in robots and programming.
Best Value: KIDWILL Educational Solar Robot Kit
This KIDWILL STEM robot kit will wow you but not bankrupt you. Open the kit to find 261 parts and accessories with detailed instructions, so neither you nor your kid will freak out by what seems like a complicated project. Once assembled, the solar-power robots (13 total!) can move both on land and water. Time to learn and play!
Kidwill 13-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit for Kids, STEM Educational Science Toy Solar Power Building Kit Puzzle DIY Assembly Solar Robotic Set for Kids, Teens and Science Lovers, Powered by the Sun
This kit comes with all the pieces you need to build 13 different solar-powered robots.
Smart Car Bots for Kids: ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit
You or your kid will love this cute little robot, but first, you must put it together! The kit contains 24 module parts, including a line tracing module and infrared remote control. Since it’s a ‘smart car,’ you can maneuver it with iOS or Android phones and tablets.
Assembling and operating the robot is a hands-on learning experience where you’ll learn about programming and robotics generally. A forewarning: the project requires basic electronic knowledge.
ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit V4 with UNO R3, Line Tracking Module, Ultrasonic Sensor, IR Remote Control etc. Intelligent and Educational Toy Robotic Kit for Arduino Learner
This is one cute, cool, and challenging-to-assemble smart car bot!