Robot kits are a great way for kids to be exposed to all aspects of engineering and STEM in general. Programming, mechanics, even biology, they are can be present in a robot kit as a child build it. And with STEM related jobs growing at 17% per year it is a great field for for eventualy job-holders to be exposed to.
A robot is also a great thing to build because it gives a child a true sense of accomplishment as they see their create move around or grab something for the first time. This drive to create something will help them as they move ahead in any career in the future.
1. LittleArm 2C Arduino Robot Kit
The LittleArm 2C is the second generation of 3D printed LittleArm Robot kits. The design of the arm makes it simple to assemble using only a screwdriver. The electronics are clear and easy to plug together and they few screws there are are simple to put in. Kids as young as 8 can assemble the kit with some adult help.
Once assembled the arm can be controlled and trained with either the free bluetooth app or Windows software. Using these tools kids get train the kit to perform different tasks just like real industrial robot arms.
The Littlearm robot kit is also based entirely on arduino and the code is all available so that it can be reprogrammed from scratch by using the www.arduino.cc/en/Main/SoftwareArduino IDE or tools such as Blockly.
The mBot is another Arduino Robot Kit. It can be controlled with an app and reprogrammed with the mBot scratch interface.
While the kit has a lot of fasteners it is fairly esay to build and contains many sensors for kits to work with and learn from. Overall it is a good beginner to mid-level robot kit.
If you have legos laying around, this is the robot kit for you. It includes multiple sensor, motor, and microprocessor bricks that allow you to bring old legos to life. The only problem with the kit is that is can be difficult to keep kids directed since there are so many directions they can go with the kit. But if they can stay focused it is a fun robot kit.
The LittleBot is an extremely simple robot kit for young kids. With only 3 screws in the entire kit it can be built by anyone in about 20 minutes. Once built it can be controlled with the Android App. When kids want to dig deeper they can reprogram the LittleBot using Arduino. Since the LittleBot is a simple demonstration of nearly every component of robotics, it is ideal for beginner builders.