One of the hottest sort of radio controlled gadget is the robot and there are some pretty cool RC robots just waiting to strut their stuff and take your commands. From a whole family of humanoid and animal Robos to RC robots you build yourself, there's a robot toy for everyone.
The WowWee Robosapien family has the first multimedia robot. He has a head-mounted camera, LCD screen, built-in microphone, speakers, and MP3 player. In addition to preprogrammed and programmable movements and visual tracking, this Robosapien can download and display information for the internet and he can dance the music too. 8+ years. He's more colorful than his Black and White siblings. For more sources, compare prices on Robosapien Media.
For teens 14 and up, this kit (with over 300 parts including servos, gears, and 6-channel radio) provides an education in building a radio controlled vehicle as well as giving kids a great sense of accomplishment once the RC is complete. And with its "claw" and Spycam it's loads of fun too. Although it has robotic features, this kit alone does not create a programmable robot -- it's definitely more RC than robotic. However, it does provide an introduction to the robotic world and clever kids (and adults) can modify and "grow" it into more of a robot.
This Robosapien cousin likes to play games and tell jokes as he interacts with you. For ages 8 and up, he's about 15 inches tall, has three robot wheels for maneuvering when you tilt the controller left and right. He's got a built-in alarm clock, built-in games, and animated features. For more options, compare prices on the TriBot Robot.
Here's a serious robot system for the seriously tech-savvy 10-15 year old. You build your own robot. The NXT has a 32-bit microprocessor, 3 interactive servo motors, sound sensors, visual sensor, touch sensor, light sensor, speakers, Bluetooth support, and programmable software for PC or Mac. This robot is serious education and serious fun. For more sources, compare prices on LEGO Mindstorms NXT. Requires 6 AA batteries (Buy Direct).
He rolls around on three wheels like the WowWee TriBot put this guy is a lot more talkative. He's called an entertainment robot -- he has an animated cartoon face, tells jokes and gives you your daily fortune. But Mr. Personality also has plenty of robotic features including sensors for detecting obstacles as he moves around the room.
The remote controller for this robot is your computer. Using a WiFi connection you make Spykee move. He can hear, speak, take pictures, and record video. He's a VOIP phone and webcam and he'll send an alarm to your computer when he detects movement. Spykee could be just for fun or a useful surveillance tool.
Straight from the movie screen to you comes this hard-working little robot from the Disney Pixar movie, WALL-E. Using its infrared controller you can make WALL-E move. He has sounds -- including the original movie voice -- and light effects, eye and arm movements, moves forward and reverse, and can be made to follow 1000 action combinations.
He's not only almost twice as tall as the original Robo, V2 has learned to speak English and has more movements, more sensors, and interacts with his environment more efficiently. For the tech-savvy kid or the kid at heart, Robosapien V2 can provide hours of intriguing, programmable fun and education. Requires 6 D (Buy Direct) and 7 AAA (Buy Direct) batteries.