5 More Best Robotics Kits for Kids, Teens & Adults

Updated on December 8, 2019
skisy profile image

Phil has worked as a web and software developer for 10+ years. He is passionate about sharing knowledge and promoting experiential learning.

Robots come in all shapes and sizes
Robots come in all shapes and sizes | Source

If you haven't already seen my previous article 5 Best Robotics Kits for Kids then go check that out first, included in that list are 5 of the best robotics kits to get your kids engaged and even excited about STEM-related learning. My goal with that list was primarily to demonstrate the various kits and platforms that provide a quick way to get started and generally require minimal setup time.

For those interested in taking the next step, getting more technical and more involved, the projects and kits in this list are a good way to do that. So, hopefully, no matter what your age you'll find something for you or your children here. Young kids, teens, and adults should all find something useful, fun, and educational here.

MakeBlock DIY Ultimate Kit

Recommended Age: 12+

Price: $300 / £319

Type: 10-in-1 kit (many more custom configurations possible—comes with an Arduino compatible board)

The MakeBlock Ultimate kit has many possible configurations
The MakeBlock Ultimate kit has many possible configurations

While this kit comes with 10 pre-designed configurations, with the initial programming ready to load and customize once you've put the pieces together, it actually offers much more. This is because it comes with the MakeBlocks MegaPi, an Arduino compatible microcontroller board which when paired with a Raspberry Pi makes the perfect robot marriage, and a great place to learn about programming and electronics. And if you don't know what either an Arduino or Raspberry Pi is, then perhaps this could be a good way to learn that too.

There are a number of options available in terms of programming the robot:

  • Visual block-based programming through the mBlock software (based on Scratch)
  • Programming through the Arduino IDE in C++
  • Programming in Python when pairing the Arduino (MegaPi) board with a Raspberry Pi (there is a library available from MakeBlock for this)

The kit itself is made from high-quality materials, feels very solid, and looks great. The MegaPi's ease of integration with the Raspberry Pi means that the MakeBlock Ultimate kit serves as an amazing platform for a whole host of possibilities.

For some inspiration, check out the video below which uses the kit paired with a Raspberry Pi, some additional components, and OpenCV to find, detect, and recognize different objects then display the output.

Buy on Amazon US | Buy on Amazon UK

ArcBotics Sparki

Recommended Age: 9+

Price: $170

Type: Pre-assembled (based on Arduino compatible board—packed with sensors and components)

Sparki comes full of sensors and ready to go
Sparki comes full of sensors and ready to go

The ArcBotics Sparki is one of the most popular educational robotics platforms in existence, already in use at several thousand educational institutes, from elementary schools to universities. As a result, I would be hard-pressed not to mention it in a list like this. There are hundreds of resources available for Sparki, in the form of tutorials, lesson plans for schools, and more.

The kit comes packed with sensors and modules which you can use, the robot itself comes pre-assembled (one imagines this is particularly useful if you plan on buying these in bulk for classroom teaching). Now, let's be honest here, it's not much of a looker with its plastic-fantastic chassis but it is very functional, educational, and fun!

The focus of the kit is really the programming, so it might be a good option for someone not overly keen on fiddling around with lots of small parts and components or concerning themselves with power requirements and technical specifications.

There are a number of options for programming Sparki, with the main ones being through a block-based programming interface or, since it uses an Arduino compatible board, using C/C++ and the Arduino IDE. It also has a TTL serial expansion port, which means you could also get it talking with a Raspberry Pi and program it that way.

Needless to say, it's popular for a reason. This is a great little robot to serve as an introduction to electronics and programming and to learn and experiment with.

Freenove Quadruped/Hexapod Kits

Recommended Age: 12+

Price: $140 / £90 (Quadruped) - $160 / £130 (Hexapod)

Type: Single configuration (Arduino compatible board)

Quadruped and Hexapod robot kits might be the creepiest yet
Quadruped and Hexapod robot kits might be the creepiest yet

Is this what the robot apocalypse looks like? These terrifying little kits are another example of great platforms for learning to code on. Imagine a small army of these crawling in formation through your house. Technically the Quadruped and Hexapod are sold as completely different kits but in essence, they are very similar, and it mostly comes down to personal preference when deciding which to get. They also both come with physical remotes, but can also be controlled via an Android, PC, Windows, or Linux app. An interesting spin on this one is that the 'desktop' app is written in the Processing language, which is an open-source graphical library and integrated development environment built for the visual arts, based on Java.

Both kits are based on Arduino compatible boards, so you will be using the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to upload code ("sketches") to the robot; another good opportunity to learn more about programming and Arduino. There's no limit on what you can change, you could reprogram control of every individual component if you wanted (if you're brave enough) or you can use the code library provided to call available functions in your code to program and control the robot's behavior. Additionally, there are spare IO ports on the board which you could use to add sensors and modules.

One slight downside to these kits is the power requirements since they need 2 x 14500 3.7V Li-ion rechargeable batteries, which do not come with the kits and are a little trickier to source than standard AA for example.

Overall, these are very well-made kits with quite a complex design. They come with a comprehensive tutorial and code to get you started, both are available to download from the Freenove website. Even if you decide not to write any custom code at all, you will be taken through a lot of useful exercises in building and programming the robot and will certainly learn from the experience. This is likely a kit you will want to complete over a couple of days, but if you're up for it you could try to do it in a single extended session!

Buy on Amazon US | Buy on Amazon UK

Yahboom Raspberry Pi Robot Tank Kit

Recommended Age: 14+

Price: $138

Type: Single configuration (Arduino compatible board, lots of potential for expansion)

This robot tank is a high quality kit and the perfect platform for adding your own creativity
This robot tank is a high quality kit and the perfect platform for adding your own creativity | Source

On the mechanized battlegrounds of the future, battalions of robot tanks struggle to hold back armies of robot arthropods. Whichever side wins, humanity will succumb to its new mechanical master... A tad melodramatic, perhaps?

Melodrama aside, this robot 'tank' might not have a large-caliber, high-velocity gun mounted on top (probably for the best) but it is a pretty great-looking robot platform. It makes use of a Raspberry Pi as the core controller, however, you will have to buy this yourself. Its expansion board is also Arduino compatible.

The manufacturer stresses that this is a 'professional' robot kit rather than a toy. It is made from high-quality materials and is capable of some mean feats including climbing 60-degree slopes (with sufficient surface grip between the tracks and surface). It comes equipped with a camera, ultrasonic sensor, LEDs, and more. And even after those are mounted, there's plenty of space and expandability. It definitely looks and feels more professional with the materials used.

As it primarily utilizes a Raspberry Pi, programming is done in C or Python, the manufacturer provides a tutorial and sample program to use for reference. The expectation is that you will likely want to add and expand the robot's capabilities, implementing custom behavior. There is also an Android app that allows you to control the robot and see the real-time video output of the camera which works with the standard program provided.

LewanSoul Robotic Arm Kit

Recommended Age: 12+

Price: $130

Type: Single configuration (Arduino compatible board)

Is this robot arm the perfect little robot helper for your electronics projects?
Is this robot arm the perfect little robot helper for your electronics projects? | Source

Now for something a bit different... One of the biggest uses of robotics in the real world is in manufacturing where robot arms, in various forms, are extremely common. While many of these industrial robots are precision machines costing thousands of dollars, you can make your own at a fraction of the cost. Of course, it won't be as powerful or as precise, but it is a great project none-the-less and it still has useful applications too! Plus, this is another all-metal construction, it feels very robust and high quality.

This is a kit, so it comes unassembled in the box. There are instructions included and also a video series on the LewanSoul YouTube channel which will help. Once assembled and set up, you can control the arm directly with the available smartphone app or even with a wireless controller. The PC software for the arm will give you the most control though, as well as the ability to program in custom routines to the arm. And of course, since it uses an Arduino compatible board you can use Arduino programming as well.

This arm is a particularly good, high-quality teaching tool for introducing young people to robotics and programming.

Robots and Beyond

Arduino and Raspberry Pi have truly made robotics, programming, and electronics so much more accessible to a much larger audience than ever before, and that's why they feature heavily in the kits in this list. Once you've assembled, programmed, and played around with just one of projects in this list, I have no doubt you will have your eyes opened to the seemingly endless possibilities and applications of electronics and robotics. Not only that, but whoever undertakes these projects will have acquired knowledge and skills which are invaluable in an ever more technological world.

I encourage you to check out the official Arduino and Raspberry Pi websites where you can find tons of resources and inspiration for future projects.

Don't forget to vote below for your favourite projects in this list and comment if you know of any more great robotics projects!

Have Your Say

Which kit is your favourite?

See results

* All prices are approximate at the time of writing, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Phil Hobbs


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 months ago

      What a funky project! Very interesting and beautifully written.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)