Can your child become smarter by playing with robot toys? New developments in artificial intelligence have created a whole new generation of children’s toys. “Robot toy” sounds very futuristic, but this is actually an emerging industry of smart children’s toys. Manufacturers claim that these little robots embedded with artificial intelligence can enhance your child’s play experience and intelligence.
Toy robot devices include numerous features that can lead to a more creative and educational learning experience during playtime. These toys can recognize faces and colors and move around on their own while avoiding obstacles. Oftentimes, they are compatible with mobile and tablet devices. Plus, they can teach your child how to start programming in addition to other valuable STEM skills relating to math and technology. Here are some developmental benefits of robot toys, plus seven toy recommendations:
In this MIT lab study, researchers explored how playing with artificial intelligence embedded toys affected things like trust, intelligence, personality, and engagement. Their research observations provided confirmation on how children form emotional attachments with their toys. This, combined with the intelligence of robot toys, could lead to higher levels of creativity in children due to the more human-like nature of artificial intelligence.
Experts in children’s technology say that these robot toys may affect motivation in kids. Many robot toys are very customizable and feature easy-to-use and intuitive programming apps to teach children as young as preschool age how to program. The fun, easy programming tools can spike motivation to learn difficult things at a young age.
Higher Levels of Empathy
Research at the University of Alberta explores how children interact with robotic toys. New developments in artificial intelligence lead to more sophisticated emotional responses in toys that can increase empathetic responses in children.
With all of these benefits in mind, we’ve compiled a list of seven awesome robot toys for your child to enjoy:
Cozmo is a cute educational robot. He is highly customizable, and your child can play many different minigames with him. He can move about and explore on his own due to spatial recognition programming. He is also able to recognize faces and can express hundreds of different emotions due to his artificial intelligence programming. His app, Cozmos Code Lab, can also help your kid learn how to code. This toy is recommended for children ages eight and up.
LEGO Creative Toolbox
This LEGO robot kit features 847 pieces, and it’s perfect for any aspiring engineer. You can choose from five builds with varying difficulties including a guitar, cat, robot, rover, and shooter. Like Cozmo, this lego kit comes with a free coding app. It features tilt, direction, and color sensors as well as facial recognition. The kit is also compatible with other LEGO smart toys. This is definitely one of the most complex AI toys out there and requires a mobile device or tablet to utilize. It is recommended for children ages seven to 12.
Botley is the winner of the Toy Association’s 2019 Toy of the Year award. One look at him, and you can see why. He is perfect for children as young as five years old to start learning early STEM skills. He is codable without a screen or tablet device and can even follow lines that you draw. He can perform up to 120 programmable steps with obstacle and environment sensing, so he won’t bump into anything. This toy is great for younger kids who are curious about programming and robotics.
Boxer is an interactive artificial intelligence robot with a big personality. This toy is best suited for kids ages six and up. He is ready to go from the box and features fun games like bowling and go-kart. Your child can use the remote control to help her perform cool tricks, or she can let him roam free and explore. Boxer’s artificial intelligence programming allows him to respond to your child with realistic expressions.
ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit
ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit is a unique educational kit. If your child likes hands-on projects and is interested in learning how to assemble and program a robot car from scratch, then this was made for her. It is recommended for kids ages 12 and up. The kit gives you everything you need to code features, including obstacle avoidance, line tracing, and infrared remote control. While relatively minimalist in design, this robot car has many features.
Think Gizmo Musical Robot
Think Gizmo Musical Robot is a unique toy made out of laser cut wood. This robot is more of a puzzle toy, and it features 221 pieces. It is most suitable for children 12 and up. It would be a perfect gift for an older child interested in building and construction of robots. While there is no interactive artificial intelligence programming, it has unique light and sound features that live up to its musical robot name.
SmartLab Programmable Rover
This fun, programmable rover comes with a memory bank, cargo hold, and its own navigation system. This toy is great for children ages eight and up. It comes pre-assembled, so it’s ready to play with straight out of the box. This rover focuses on developing math, problem-solving, and navigational skills. The manual has many different missions on which you can send your rover.
Don’t let the word, “robot” scare you away from some great toys! Many of them could increase your daughter’s capacity for STEM without her even knowing it!