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Best robot toys to make STEM learning come alive

From robotic dinosaurs to battle bots, creative robots and even one they can build themselves, here are the best robot toys to buy in 2022.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Jan 18, 2024

Best robot toys

Robot toys have really grown in popularity in recent years. Fun, intelligent and interactive, there are a wide range of robot toys to choose from, suitable from the toddler years right through to options for tweens and teens.

Buying tech can be a bit of a minefield, and it's hard to know how to pick the best robot toy for your child. That's why we've turned to the Mumsnet forums - home to over 8 million Mumsnetters - for honest reviews and recommendations. Their seal of approval to each item in this guide, as well as the best board games for the whole family to enjoy and the top-rated tablet for kids, means you can rest assured knowing each product comes recommended by real families.

Whether it’s an educational robot, a drawing robot or even a robot you can build to bring to life, we’ve researched the best robot toys as recommended by real parents.

Each with their own unique features, here are the best robot toys you can buy in 2024.

Read next: Looking to boost your child's learning? Read our guide to the best online tutoring.

1. Best overall robot toy: LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox Robotics Kit

LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox

RRP: £149.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Recommended Age: Ages 7+ | Batteries included: No, 6 AAA batteries required

Reasons to buy:

  • Educational benefits of building, coding and robotics.

  • Fun parent and child activity

  • Includes a choice of five different characters

Reasons to avoid:

  • Costly

  • You’ll need a compatible phone or tablet to operate

What Mumsnet users say:

“LEGO Boost is a basic coding robot that can be built in a number of ways and controlled from a tablet. It’s quite a task to build and does some really cool things. There are also additional Lego sets that are designed to be built into the Robotic unit. We really love the Ninjago dragon that moves.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Equimum)

“Our son got a LEGO robot for Christmas. You can code it to do different things via an app on his tablet. We're all very impressed with it.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user ichundich)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? Ability to build five unique robot characters and literally bring them to life.

This LEGO Boost kit is far from your average building bricks set. Once built, the five unique characters in the kit (including a robot and interactive pet) can be programmed to move and perform using a smart device.

A great way to introduce children to the world of coding and robotics, there are over 60 different activities and skills to master, which will fascinate and entertain the whole family.

For more of Mumsnetters' favourite builds, check out our guide to the best LEGO sets.

2. Best budget robot toy: LEXIBOOK ROB20EN Powerman Jr.


RRP: £29.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Recommended Age: 3 years + | Batteries included: No - Requires three AA batteries for robot and two AA batteries for remote

Reasons to buy:

  • Dances, plays music and repeats what your child says

  • Includes a fun guessing game

  • Can be programmed to perform up to forty actions

Reasons to avoid:

  • Uses a significant number of batteries

What Mumsnet users say:

Lexibook Powerman robot was a big hit on my four year olds birthday.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user CanofCant)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Simple controls and cute interactions for younger children

If you’re buying a robot for a younger child and don’t want to break the budget, the Lexibook Powerman Jr. is a friendly and non-intimidating robot with a more affordable price tag than most. That said, it does require a significant number of batteries, so you’ll need to check the stock in your kitchen draw.

Available in a choice of (somewhat cliched)  pink or blue, this intelligent robot is easy to control via remote control. With fun guessing games included, children will be fascinated when he guesses their animal simply by asking a few yes or no questions. He can also repeat their voice and be programmed to perform his own unique dance movements.

Related: The best trikes for babies and toddlers, tried and tested by Mumsnetters

3. Best educational robot toy: Learning Resources Botley Robot

Learning Resources Botley Robot

RRP: £54.29 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Recommended Age: Ages 5+  | Batteries included: No

Reasons to buy:

  • Screen-free coding toy

  • Grows with your child

  • Encourages planning and visualisation

Reasons to avoid:

  • Requires significant batteries (5AAAs)

What Mumsnet users say:

My son liked Botley the coding robot when he was little - slightly more expensive than some but he still plays with him now sometimes at 5 nearly 6.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user littlestpogo)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Recently voted our best coding toy, Botley makes a great introduction to coding for children aged 5+

This little robot from educational toy experts Learning Resources is not only super cute but incredibly clever too.

Encouraging skills such as critical thinking and logic whilst teaching basic  programming, children can plot out a journey before programming a sequence of actions they want Botley to follow. This can include manoeuvring around obstacles, following a set route or even moving objects with his arms. There are even some secret tricks to master that will have kids laughing out loud once achieved.

Related: The best remote control cars for kids of all ages

4. Best creative robot toy: VTech Jot Bot

VTech JotBot Drawing & Coding Robot

RRP: £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon 

Key specs: Recommended Age: 3 - 5 years | Batteries included: No - ‎4 AA batteries required

Reasons to buy:

  • Cute robot toy for younger children

  • Creative, screen-free fun

Reason to avoid:

  • Expensive based on size

  • May be too babyish for some older children

Our verdict

Our favourite features? A robot and drawing toy combined with a  library of over 280 images to create.

This cute little robot can’t just hold your pencil, he can actually draw too. Simply insert the chip and pencil and watch as he springs around the page, creating your image from scratch.

With a variety of different play modes, JotBot also has fun interactive games such as Connect the Dots and Maze mode, where JotBot has to navigate out of a paper maze and find his way to the exit.

Searching for more creative toys? Here's our guide to the best creative toys for kids.

5. Best dinosaur robot toy: ZURU Robo Alive Dino Robotic Pet

ZURU Robo Alive Dino Robotic Pet

RRP: £18.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Recommended Age: Ages 3+ | Batteries included: No 2 AAA batteries required.

Reasons to buy:

  • Authentic looking T-Rex dinosaur

  • Real life movements and sounds

  • Runs via motor

Reasons to avoid:

  • Movements are relatively slow

  • Children may currently prefer dinosaur toys from the Jurassic World range

What Mumsnet users say:

How about Robo Alive....they have things like dinosaurs, and spiders that move. They have good reviews”  (Suggested by Mumsnet user Daisy829)

Robo alive is on my 6 year olds Christmas list.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Bronzeisthecolour)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Realistic stomping movements like a real T-Rex!

Robo Alive toys are popular amongst Mumsnet users and it’s not hard to see why. Offering good value for money, these robotic characters powered by motor spring to life to reveal realistic movements and actions.

Thanks to the popularity of dinosaur toys at present, kids will be fascinated by this stomping roaring T-Rex who appears to move completely by himself!

If your kids love dinosaurs, head over to our round-up of the very best dinosaur toys for kids of all ages.

Read next: Looking for a homework-friendly tablet for your kids this summer? Check out our review of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and Kids Pro.

6. Best remote control robot toy: Really R.A.D Robots Fartbro Radio Controlled Robot

Really R.A.D Robots Fartbro Radio Controlled Robot

RRP: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Recommended Age: Ages 5+ | Batteries included: No 3 x AAA and 3 x AAA required.

Reasons to buy:

  • Kids love a bit of fart humour!

  • Bargain price tag

  • Great for pranking

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not the easiest robot to navigate

What Mumsnet users say:

“Really RAD robots are good” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Fivemoreminutes1)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Sneak the robot up to your family in Stealth mode before letting rip!

With over 15 burp and fart sounds to create, Really R.A.D Fartbro is a remote controlled robot that makes pranking your family an absolute breeze! Not only that, thanks to the cushioned top, it can also be used as a fart inducing whoopee cushion to leave on your Nana’s chair.

Sure to result in lots of laughs, we also love the dance mode, which can be used to encourage some fun actions and movements too.

7. Best coding robot toy: Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

RRP: £150.36 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Recommended Age: 6-11 years | Batteries included: Yes - 1 Lithium Ion battery included

Reasons to buy:

  • Cute and friendly robot

  • Ideal coding toy for beginners

Reasons to avoid:

  • Costly

  • Accessories are sold separately

What Mumsnet users say:

“The Dash robot is fab, they have them at my daughter's school and I've been able to play with them a few times. I'm going to get one for my daughter for her birthday - she will be six but it grows with them as the tasks get more and more complicated.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Jerseysilkvelour)

“We also have 'Dash' from Wonderlabs and the children can have robot races around the floor." (Recommended by Mumsnet user parietal)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - A cute but educational coding robot that grows with your child

With hands-on programming that becomes increasingly more challenging as your child grows in confidence, children can learn to code basic movements and actions for Dash using a compatible mobile or tablet. After some practice, they can progress through hundreds of missions that come preloaded and ready to go.

Once they’ve mastered the basics, children can use the Blockly app to use advanced coding methods such as conditional and variables. They can even learn how to use Dash to play pranks on their friends and family.

Looking to nurture your child's interest in coding? Our round-up of the best coding toys has you covered.

8. Best battle robot toy: Hexbugs BattleBots Arena Pro

Hexbugs BattleBots Arena Pro

RRP: £99.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Recommended Age: Ages 8-10 years | Batteries included: No, ‎4 LR44 batteries required

Reasons to buy:

  • Great robot toy for siblings to share

  • Includes two Build Your Own BattleBots

  • Includes fold out arena game board

Reasons to avoid:

  • Some reviewers found the robots got caught on the central fold of the game board

  • Robot battles don’t come cheap

What Mumsnet users say:

Hexbugs make battle bots and robot wars sets. Both are awesome!”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Curious2468)

“They're brilliant! My children played with them loads. They don't break easily. We had several different kits” (Recommended by Mumsnet user MyOtherProfile)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - Battle it out with siblings or family to with a fully customised BattleBot robot

Modelled on the hit TV show, BattleBots, the Hexbug BattleBots Arena Pro includes an easy to assemble fold out arena and two, fully customisable BattleBots.

With over 100 configurations, children will love building and customising their own characters with a range of battle armour and weapons before entering the arena and battling it out with their competitors. Even better, game play is relatively simple, with an easy to learn remote controller to navigate around the arena.

9. Best mini robot toy: Sphero Mini Robotic Ball

Sphero Mini Robotic Ball

RRP: £54.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Recommended Age: Ages 8+ | Batteries included: Yes, 1 LR44 battery included.

Reasons to buy:

  • Fairly endless coding options to explore

  • Complexity can grow with your child

  • Relatively straight forward to use

Reasons to avoid:

  • Battery needs charging regularly

  • Costly for something to small

  • Includes just one colour shell (other shells sold separately)

What Mumsnet users say:

“Sphero is great fun. You can program it to play games, follow lines on a maze, respond to music, avoid obstacles etc. There are loads of sites devoted to it and it just looks so pretty zooming around, in funky colours. It's very well made, and can withstand knocks, water etc. I love ours.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Nissemand)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? - a remote controlled ball that can go on many coding adventures

Whilst it may look like a basic coloured ping pong ball in a choice of five different colours, Sphero is actually a super intelligent robot with a motor and gyroscope hidden inside.

With a variety of fun driving modes and games to play, children can use basic coding methods in JavaScript as well as actions on a compatible smart phone or device to move the ball in the direction of their choice. From knocking down toys to navigating around obstacles, they’ll have so much fun they won’t even notice they’re learning.

Whilst it’s not quite as impressive as the Sphero Bolt for functionality, it’s a far more affordable option for tighter budgets.

What kinds of robot toys are there?

There are loads of robot toys to choose from, with more being released by the day. In 2022, the build-your-own robots and dinosaur robots are likely to be incredibly popular - the latter thanks to the recent release of the Jurassic World movie. You can also pick up some cute and friendly robots which tend to be much easier to control.

Depending on your child’s age, we think the best robot toys are the ones that not only allow children to bring their imagination to life, but offer some educational benefits too, introducing some basic coding or programming skills which can spark a genuine interest in STEM.

What ages are robot toys good for?

 Robot toys are great for all ages. For younger children, robot toys can be a great way to encourage movement and teach about cause and effect. As they get older, children can start to interact with and control robots, learning about their functionality and various actions they can perform.

Older children will love creating and building their robots from scratch, not only creating the physical robot itself but coding and programming the robot to perform various tasks, movements or actions.

What’s the best robot toy to buy?

Right now, we feel the best robot to buy is the LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox Robotics Kit. Whilst more suited to older children (aged seven and above), this 5-in-1 kit is something the whole family can enjoy together; creating a range of characters and then watching them, quite literally, come to life. Whilst it doesn’t come cheap, the potential longevity of this product makes it great value for money, especially when compared to other robot toys that children may outgrow quite quickly.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

First, we scoured the Mumsnet forums to find the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users, getting their feedback on the robot toys they’ve previously bought for their children, as well as the robot toys that they rate, recommend and have proven to be a hit.

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, limited in use, perceived to be overpriced or particularly complicated to learn.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of robot toys on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, Argos and John Lewis to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.