Best Robotic Kits For Kids Under $300

Getting a child into robotics could be the very best thing possible for them at such a tender age. If a child develops an interest in something as technical as robotics at an age where most kids spend time playing video games as a hobby, then it is certain that your kid will be miles ahead of his competition anywhere. However, getting a child into robotics is not the difficult part. The more challenging task is to sponsor the hobby. Believe it or not, robotics can be a pretty hefty expense on your wallet. There are some expenses that just can’t be avoided. A good example of such would be robotics kits. They’re insanely expensive, but at the same time, incredibly valuable for a kid who’s still scratching the surface of how robotics work. So, if you need your kid to have the right tools at his / her disposal without spending a little too much, this blog is just for you. We’re going to suggest five of the best robotics kits out there for children that are under the price tag of $300.

Before we get to our list, we, the folks here at Automated Curiosity, would like to put out a small disclaimer. The prices that we have listed are only accurate at the time of writing inside the United States. The cost may vary depending upon the criteria of Amazon as well as the manufacturing company. Automated Curiosity has no influence on the increase or decrease of the price whatsoever.

LEGO MINDSTORM EV3 31313 Robot Kit – $349 on Amazon

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LEGO MINDSTORM has been a great name in the world of robotics for a long time. They’ve been putting out great kits perfect for kids to learn the gist of robotics and programming. The EV3 31313 is no different. It’s a kit with over 600 singular pieces that can be used to create a bunch of cool robots that can perform tons of tasks including walking, talking and even playing games. Plus, just like any MINDSTORM product, you can connect the kit with a smart device and download the app to program the robot through the easy-to-use compiler. MINDSTORM’s app can let you control the EV3 brick, the 3 servo motors along with touch and IR sensors.

The MINDSTORM set can be used to create five, totally unique, robots. Brief description of each is given down below.

EV3 STORM: A regular transformer like robot with decent combat skill that includes a bazooka and a tri-blade.

Gripper: This one is more like a heavy lifter muscle robot. You might think that it’s weak, but the grippers can actually lift quite a decent bit of weight.

SPIK3R: This is the main robot that the kit is supposed to make. It’s shaped like a centipede with six legs and a tail similar to a scorpions.

TRACK3R: TRACK3R replicates one of those exploration drones that are sent to other planets. It’s walks around with a crawler and works on pretty much any terrain with its four tools.

R3PTAR: This is actually a pretty intimidating robot that looks a lot like a serpent. It can ‘strike’ a target with incredible speed and agility.

Pros

  • Include over 600 pieces for kids to play around with
  • Can create five unique robots
  • Each robot has it’s very own distinct set of abilities
  • Easy to use drag and drop interface for the MINDSTORM application

Cons

  • This is more of a manufacturing defect, but a ton of customers receive boxes with missing pieces. Just make sure you check your box before the return period ends.

LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 Building Set and Educational Coding Kit For Kids – $159 on Amazon – Award-Winning STEM Learning Toy

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Another LEGO toy, but this one may just top the MINDSTORM one we talked about earlier. The Boost kit is actually an award winning product that has 847 different pieces. Yup, that’s right, this kit is more than enough to keep your child occupied for months and months.

The 847 pieces are perfect for kids between the ages of 7-12. The kit can built five robotics that incorporate advanced tech like color, distance and tilt sensors. The five robots are:

Vernie the Robot: Vernie is the main robot that can be made using the Boost toolkit. It’s a pretty basic robot. It can dance, make jokes and pass gas. Completely rudimentary, but great as a first time build.

Frankie the Cat: Does your kid want a pet but you never allow one? Well, give them a chance to build a robot pet with Boost kit. Frankie the Cat is an interactive pet that can purr as well as show it’s emotions in quite a different ways.

Guitar 4000: Yes, this cannot function as a real guitar in the same way Frankie isn’t a real cat, but it’s still a pretty neat toy. The Guitar 4000 can product a ton of sound effects with pitch bend.

M.T.R. 4: The M.T.R. is most complex of all the robots. It’s a rover with four different tool attachments that also come with a shooter incase some hostiles attach. There’s also a mini-version of Vernie controlling the shooter.

If you feel that the kit may be a bit too complex for your kid, don’t worry. Have them install the compatible app for LEGO Boost and it’ll walk them through building the robots themselves.

Pros

  • Amazing set with 847 pieces
  • It can make five unique robots
  • LEGO Boost app to make building robots easier
  • Perfect for kids looking to get into STEM learning

Cons

  • The app needs a lot of improvement to work properly
  • Going through each of the 847 pieces to one piece is spectacularly tiring

UBTECH Astrobot Kit Interactive Building Block System – $119 on Amazon

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The Astrobot Kit also works the same way as the other two we’ve mentioned above. It can built three cool robots. However, once your kid has mastered the kit, it can be used to build your very own robotics as well. The distinct quality of this kit by UBTECH is that it allows you to program your robot to extreme lengths. You can teach it to pick up objects, zig zag around obstacles, show emotions and produce sounds using Blockly coding.

The entire set consists of 371 parts, which include an infrared sensor, speaker, LEDs, servo motors and power adapters. The Astrobot Kit is absolutely amazing, don’t just take our word for it. It has won the Tillywig 2018 Brain Child Award, CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree, Time to Play Magazine 2016 Holiday Most Wanted List and IFA awards 2015 Best of Show. This list of accolades is absolutely unmatchable.

In order to implement all the cool programming stuff, there’s an iOS and Android compatible application available on their respective app store. This can help you use a simple drag and drop interface to customize all your robots.

Pros

  • The kit includes a lot of really cool pieces of equipment
  • iOS and Android compatible app for custom features
  • Kids can make their own robots too
  • Backed up by a long list of awards

Cons

  • The app is extremely faulty and requires a lot of improvements

Tengergy ODEV Tomo STEM Toy 2-in-1 Robot Kit – $99 on Amazon

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The Tomo kit is the ultimate tool for STEM learning. It’s right there in the name, how could you possibly disagree. Tomo teaches beginners about graphical programming, mechanical skills needed to build robots and basic knowledge of rudimentary pieces of electronics.

Tomo Kit can be used to make Tomo as a tricycle or a dicycle. The tricycle is a programmed machine that can race on lines and avoid obstacles at the same time. Dicycle is a self-balancing version of Tomo that can walk around freely and avoid obstacles at the same time.

Tomo kit comes with two separate application that are both android and iOS compatible. The first is the ODEV Explorer that can help you move your robot around. While, the second, ODEV Blockly is for kids to use the graphical coding environment and program their robot.

The kit may look a bit intimidating, but it’s actually really easy to use. The robot comes with clear instructions to build it along with components that are color coded and labeled which make assembly really easy too.

Pros

  • A 2-in-1 robot that are pretty fun to built
  • The graphical programming tool can actually do a lot of amazing stuff
  • Comes with two different compatible applications
  • Easy-to-build due to color coded and labeled pieces

Cons

  • None that we know of

Meccano Erector MeccaSpider Robot Kit – $64 on Amazon

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The MeccaSpider is actually a really fancy looking spider that can be built using the 291 parts included in the Meccano Erector robotics kit. The parts include, hand tools, a decal sheet, an instruction sheet, a brain module for the spider, an IR sensor module along with a couple of smart motor modules.

You can just make one spider with this kit, which is different from the rest of the kits mentioned above. However, the spider can perform a lot of tricks like guard mode, attack mode and a bunch of game modes too. There’s also an option to program the robot to create custom games and actions too.

The spider can move around on it’s own pretty well and avoid obstacles because of the IR sensor, but incase your kid wants to do the driving themselves, there’s also an app that allows a user to control the MeccaSpider.

Pros

  • 291 parts including some really advanced pieces of tech, at least for kids
  • MeccaSpider can perform a ton of sweet tricks
  • You can let it drive itself or use the mobile app as a remote controller
  • Possible to self-program behavior as well

Cons

  • The spider drains the batteries fairly quickly

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