Robot toys

Everything you need to know about toy robots

Robots are on the rise and have conquered the world of toys. Many children dream of a remote-controlled friend that they can program and which would appear to carry out tasks independently. As modern as this trend is, the idea of interactive helpers has been around for a long time – whether in science-fiction films or as manufacturing aids. But what types of robots are there? Why should children play with robots? And above all: which are most suitable for children? These questions and much more useful information are explained in detail below.

What is a robot?  

A robot is a machine that is programmed and can carry out various movements, functions and actions. Robots can perform certain tasks via remote control, through sensor signals or also by means of programmed commands. Robots are usually employed to do repetitive, mechanical work in place of humans. There are many types of robots and diverse fields in which they are used, such as grass-mowing robots, floor-vacuuming robots, humanoid robots, industrial robots, exploration robots, remote control robots and many more.
For children, there is a huge range of toy robots: robotic toys for entertainment and robots that are suitable for learning. The educational robots are very similar to real robots in order to teach the principles of programming in a fun way and make technology more familiar.

What is a robotic toy and who enjoys playing with them?

Children become fascinated with robots as soon as they start to move. They find the movements or noises of the toy robots amazing. Adults also find themselves fascinated by what all these robotic toys can do. It is all the more appealing that both young and old come together in playing with toy robots and having fun together.
 There are various types of toy robots. Very simple robots such as animal robots, dinosaur robots, cuddly toy robots or remote-control vehicle robots are there as friends and companions to the children or are simply fun and entertaining. These robots have already been pre-programmed by the manufacturer and you can choose between various fixed programs. Unlike with an educational robot, in this case children don´t have the opportunity to learn anything about the robotics themselves. There are, however, other robots which are not only fun for the child, but are also educational. There are also various subtypes in this category of educational robots. There are robots that have to be programmed in order to get them going. The point here is mainly to learn a programming language, apply this and ultimately try out the self-written programs. This usually involves very simple software applications through which children can learn programming based on pictures.  
Alongside these fascinating robots that can be programmed, there are also robot construction sets. These have the greatest learning effect for children. Firstly, the toy robots have to be built before being programmed. The children already acquire detailed knowledge of certain components and their function, such as sensors, motors, hardware, etc., during the construction process. The basics are taught in a fun way, since the process of constructing and creating the finished robot is not only entertaining but also automatically educates the child. After the haptic construction process, the programming of the robot can begin, during which the robot is programmed individually using simple software language. Construction kits are available for a wide range of (often realistic) models for which several different programs are usually possible.

Why should children play with robots at all?

In this, the age of digitalisation, themes such robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming more and more important. Professions such as programmer, software developer and mechatronics engineer are more sought after than ever before and are very much the future.
 Thanks to robotic toys, even the smallest children are introduced to these digitalisation topics in a fun way. Important themes for the future and various skills can be taught with robotic toys.  
The children learn how to build a robot from a kit. In building and programming the toy robot, they learn to measure, control and regulate. Diverse actuators and sensors are also explained in a clear way in some educational robots. In this way, the first knowledge of these future-oriented technologies is already taught in the childhood bedroom.

What sort of things can a child do with a robot and from what age are robots suitable?  

Robots are available for even the youngest children, for example in the form of an automated doll or a robot animal. These types of robots are only for looking at or playing with, since the programs cannot be changed and only some sort of stimulation is required to bring the robot to life. The purpose here is entertainment. Some manufacturers offer this type of robot for small children from the age of 9 months. The recommended age increases with the complexity of the robot.  
Robots that are delivered as construction kits and have to be built and programmed by the children themselves are available for children as young as 6. Generally speaking, suitability for a certain age group will depend on the function and options of a particular robot.

Are toy robots safe for children?  

Generally, there are strict requirements and regulations for children’s toys with which the manufacturers must comply in order to ensure child safety. They must therefore comply with the provisions of the European Toys Directive and all relevant norms for mechanical, chemical and electrical safety. Furthermore, manufacturers who offer networked toys, i.e. toys that connect to the internet, must in particular ensure the IT and data security of the toy.

What are the advantages of a toy robot?

•    Absolute top trend
•    Unlimited product diversity  
•    Robots available in all price classes according to quality and function  
•    Various types and variants of robot toys
•    Products are mostly very realistic
•    Children are familiarised with future technologies
•    Children enjoy playing with robots – the fun factor!
•    Toys, which can be used in a variety of ways depending on the robot
•    Long-term entertainment and activity
•    Fun for the whole family  
•    Educational robots are associated with various learning effects
•    Programming can be learned easily
•    Motor skills are improved    
•    An understanding of technology is promoted

The Robotics range from fischertechnik

fischertechnik is a construction toy manufacturer from the Black Forest. The toy robots have to be built first before they can be programmed. This increases  anticipation and promotes the use of the child’s motor skills.. The ROBOTICS range includes various educational robots in different levels of complexity.  
A distinction is made between two variants: there are educational robots that are already pre-programmed, and robots that the user has to program themselves. In the case of pre-programmed toy robots, various programs can be selected. The small, funny Mini Bots allow an easy introduction to the world of robotics. The five different robots can follow trails or avoid obstacles, for example, depending on which program is selected. The programs are selected using a switch on the so-called ROBOTICS module. The ROBOTICS module serves as the control system, you could say.
Then, there are also fischertechnik robots that are programmed or can be programmed by the user themselves. Here, there are also various levels of complexity as well as diverse software programs and controllers. The educational robot BT Smart Beginner Set, with the latest Bluetooth technology and remote control, is recommended as an introduction to the world of robotics. Here, many diverse models can be programmed and controlled, such as the driveable robot, the remote-controlled robot, industrial robots or everyday models. Various questions from everyday situations are explained in this set: how does a sensor gate work and how does the light come on in the fridge when you open the door? Exciting programming tasks provide the answers to these questions. The robots can be programmed using an easy-to-understand software for beginners. It is also possible to program and control these using a tablet or a smartphone. A further robot construction kit is recommended as an introduction to programming right through to complex programs, since a lot more is possible with this software. These are not just simple robots, but also large industrial models. Both software programs are suitable for programming newbies and comprise various building blocks. Remote control is by app via a smartphone or tablet.

To the fischertechnik ROBOTICS line

fischertechnik robot toys in comparison

Mini Bots BT Smart Beginner Set TXT Smart Home
Art der Roboter Driving robots
Driving robots, robot models from everyday life, industrial models, remote control driving robots
Robot models from everyday life, data logging, IoT applications IoT-Anwendungen
Level of complexity very easy easy moderately difficult
Age 8+
Number of models 5 models
12 models
6 models
Entertainment factor (1-10) 10
Educational factor (1-10) 3
7 10
Already pre-programmed

Create own simple programs
Simple to complex programming possible

Mobile devices

Example toy robots – fischertechnik ROBOTICS Mini Bots

More about fischertechnik

fischertechnik robotics toy  

All fischertechnik ROBOTICS products in overview.   
fischertechnik play scene two kids

About fischertechnik  

The motto of fischertechnik is learning technology in a fun way.
Learn more here


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