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.
These 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. They can move around on their own and avoid obstacles. Oftentimes they are compatible with mobile and tablet devices. They can teach your child how to start programming and other valuable STEM skills relating to math and technology. Here are some developmental benefits of robot toys:
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 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 such as computer programming 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 7 awesome robot toys for your child to play with:
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 8 and up.
LEGO Creative Toolbox
This LEGO robot kit features 847 pieces and it’s perfect for any aspiring engineer. You can choose from 5 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. This 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 play with. It is recommended for children ages 7 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 5 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 6 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 him perform cool tricks or they 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 them. 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. This robot 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 8 and up. It comes pre-assembled so it’s ready to play with out of the box. This rover focuses on developing math, problem-solving, and navigational skills. The manual has many different missions you can send your rover on. It is perfect for children ages 8 and up.