Robots are exciting machines featured in numerous novels, television shows, and movies as well as documentaries. These are feats of science and technology including engineering and artificial intelligence, which only the most intelligent and most resourceful among us seem capable of creating. But this isn’t so because anybody with the money to buy robotic kits and the willingness to spend time, energy, and effort into assembling it can create his own robots!
Simple Robots You Can Build
The world has manufacturers of robotic kits, among other groups, to thank for the opportunity to build robots in their own workshops at home, in the office and in schools. These kits typically come with all the necessary parts and tools as well as the instruction booklet and tutorial videos for assembling the parts and installing the software.
The best thing about these make-your-own-robot kits: These come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and styles as well as features and functions from beginner to advanced levels so you have an abundance of choices.
And therein lies the confusion: Which ones are the best for your needs and wants in robotic kits? We made the choices less confusing by reading dozens of consumer reviews, choosing the ones with the highest ratings, and testing several of these kits for your benefit.
Keep in mind that the robot kits mentioned here may or may not address your needs and wants in toy robots. But you will find them to be good candidates because of their wide range of benefits from ease of assembly to expandability options.
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Many robot kits fans consider the Lego Mindstorms EV3 as the quintessential toy robot because it matches the idea of what a robot should look, feel, and act like – well, at least, what a toy robot should be. The modular design allows its users to change its configuration depending on their whims of the day although there are five pre-set configurations available in the kit. These configurations are EV3 Storm, Track3R, Gripper, R3Ptar, and Spik3R, which are inspired by several natural forms like a scorpion for the Spik3R.
Since it’s a Lego set, you can also add more compatible Technic building blocks to the standard configuration. You can then create new shapes and styles for your DIY robot, perhaps even expand your collection of robots by buying more Lego Mindstorms sets and Technic building blocks. Many people are also doing the same.
The programmable processor also has an intelligent quality about it in the sense that it can complete tasks even without being directed by a human at every step. The software requires a learning curve in downloading and installing, so parental assistance will likely be needed, especially for less tech-savvy younger kids. But kids will like the challenge of building their own robot when the installation process has been completed, such as in using the drag-and-drop programming style.
Makeblock Starter Robot Kit
The Arduino programming suite is becoming more popular in schools for many reasons. Educators and parents like it because it provides their students and children with the opportunities to learn coding and programming in ways that they will actually enjoy. This is important because coding and programming aren’t just important for robotics, but are also critical in developing several important life skills.
The kit can be used in enhancing STEM-related knowledge and skills in students as well as in satisfying the need to learn more about robotics in adults. You can build a three-wheeled robot car or a robot tank from the parts of the kit, said parts of which have been praised for their durability even with regular use.
VEX IQ Robotics Construction Kit
The VEX IQ kit is a popular one in the education industry for good reasons. But we must emphasize that the consumer-friendly version of the kit is different from their education-friendly counterparts, which have trays for organizing the assembly parts and rechargeable batteries.
This is a great kit for children as young as eight years old. They can follow the well written, step-by-step instructions on building their own robots, which are programmable, and then experiment with customized styles and programs. Adults will likely provide guidance during the assembly process but kids will love helping and learning, too.
The beauty of these robotic kits lies in their relative simplicity. But it also pays to learn a few things that will contribute to your enjoyment of your robotics journey.
- Learn more about electronics since it’s one of the foundations of robotics;
- Start with small robots so that you have a solid foundation before expanding your horizons;
- Learn as much as you can about coding and programming – and the Lego Mindstorms is a great hands-on experience; and
- Ask questions from others who have built their own robots and become part of a community, if you want.
You will spend money, time, and energy on building your own robots but when you see the end results – and you play with them – everything becomes worthwhile.