Best LEGO Robot Kits iMore 2020
Legos and robots. What's not to love? This combination of technology and the world's favorite plastic brick is a dream come true for kids and adults alike. There's plenty of these build-your-own-robot Lego sets available, but you came here to narrow down the choices. Here we've compiled the very best Lego robots, along with the pros, cons, and prices of each to help you make the right purchase.
- Best Overall: LEGO Boost Robot Building Set
- Best Tech: LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3
- Best Value: LEGO Creator 3in1 Underwater Robot
- Best Cute Factor: Lego Ideas Wall-E
- Best Artificial Senses: LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0
Best Overall: LEGO Boost Robot Building Set
We can't say enough about how awesome this Boost Building Set is. Unlike some of the more complicated sets below, this fully functional robot can be built and programmed by kids as young as seven years old. Vernie the robot will move, dance, play guitar, or even interact with his pet cat according to programmed instructions.
Aside from the robot, the set includes four other multifunctional models that interact with Vernie, such as Frankie the robot cat, a Guitar4000, or a multi-tooled rover vehicle. The set encourages children to begin learning simple programming skills, and it stimulates some serious creativity!
- Appropriate for kids as young as seven
- Easily programmed via the LEGO BOOST app
- Encourages children to learn early coding skills
- The LEGO BOOST app can be difficult for children to navigate
- Mechanical models go through batteries fast
- Only works with specific tablet devices
Early programming for kids
This award-winning robot building set offers five Lego models that can be built and programmed by kids as young as seven.
Best Tech: LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3
The most complete and advanced Lego robot we've seen, EV3 will walk, talk, play games, and perform a variety of programmable tasks. The large-scale 16" robot can be programmed using a smart device and can also be controlled using a handy remote control that you build yourself.
The set also includes instructions for 17 different robotic designs that can be constructed with the provided pieces, each of which offers unique features and tasks. The models are by no means simple to build or program, so this set is not recommended for children younger than ten years old.
- Fully functional robot can perform any number of tasks
- Set includes 17 different robot designs
- Can be controlled via the EV3 programmer app or with a remote control
- Not recommended for children under 10
- Software can be glitchy with some Android devices
- Goes through batteries quickly
The real deal
This walking, talking, fully functional robot will provide no end of educational fun for any age, and it offers 17 possible models!
Best Value: LEGO Creator 3in1 Underwater Robot
If your little Lego builder is not quite ready for a state-of-the-art (and very expensive) programmable robot, the 3in1 Underwater Robot is an excellent starting point. The 6" tall robot figure is easy to assemble, and even though the package says 7+, many experienced Lego builders as young as five could build this with a little supervision from parents.
It does not walk on its own, but since all the arms, legs, and even fingers are posable, the completed robot can provide hours of Lego fun. What's more, the same set can be used to build a submarine and an underwater crane with a functioning grabber claw. This set includes no electronics, metal parts, or stickers so that it can be fully submerged in water for bath-time or pool-time fun.
- Easy enough for younger kids
- Works for underwater play
- No mechanics or movement
- The robot is pretty small
- Only one model can be built at a time
Small but mighty
Here's an excellent starter robot for kids who aren't quite ready for larger, more complicated mechanical models. Quick, simple fun.
Best Cute Factor: Lego Ideas Wall-E
Here's the perfect robot for Disney fans and Wall-E lovers. This detailed replica of the famous waste management robot features posable arms, head, eyes, and hands, as well as a trunk that opens and closes, just like the movie. Although he won't roll on his own, his tracks roll smoothly with a little push.
With almost 700 pieces, Wall-E is not an easy build. He's recommended for kids over ten years old. Once he's been constructed, this limited edition Wall-E is considered a collector's item. Since Lego no longer makes this model, it does come at a pretty hefty price point.
- Pose his eyes, head, and neck for classic Wall-E expressions
- Adorable robot design looks just like the movie
- Roll him, pose him, or open and close him for hours of play
- Difficult for children under 10 to build
- Discontinued by manufacturer so that replacement parts will be a hassle
Best Cute Factor
Cute and lifelike
Disney's classic Wall-E Lego looks just like the original character, right down to his expressive facial expressions.
Best Artificial Senses: LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0
Another of Lego's impressive Mindstorms robots, the NXT can interact with his builders using his artificial senses of sight, touch, and sound. He can distinguish colors, identify obstacles in his path, and interact with your touch. By using a computer to program the NXT, he can be taught a multitude of tasks and functions, such as talking, closing doors, pushing buttons, or fetching an item.
The set comes with instructions on building four distinct robots, but you can use your own creativity and imagination to invent new robot designs that implement the same parts and software. There's no limit to your robotic ingenuity!
- Robot interacts with lifelike senses of sight, touch, and sound
- Pieces can be used to invent any number of new robots
- Programming software is open-ended to create new tasks and functions
- Only works with computer software, not with other smart devices
- Software can be glitchy on Mac computers
Best Artificial Senses
Fun interactive functionality
This robot can see and feel you! The Mindstorms NXT has a sense of touch, sight, and sound to navigate the world around him.
If robotics and Legos are two of your favorite things, it's time to invest in one of these awesome Lego robots. There's no end of fun in building, reinventing, and programming your own robot, whether it's intended for you or your kids. This list includes everything from the latest, fully-functional mechanical robots to classic posable robots, depending on the age and budget of the intended builder.
The best overall, especially for kids under 10, is the Boost Robot Building Set that presents an excellent opportunity for young minds to begin honing their coding and programming skills. This set comes with Vernon the Robot, as well as four other models that he can interact with in delightful ways. It's a fun kit with no end of interesting tasks and games you can perform with the different models. The Boost Set promises endless hours of educational play.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jaclyn Kilani Jaclyn is a content writer at TechnoBuffalo. She has a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. When she's not churning out new things, Jaclyn loves exploring the world, playing with her children, and good old-fashioned baking.
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