Robot Holiday Gift Guide 2016
We've rounded up 11 robots that will be great gifts for the neat freaks, techies, wannabe coders, and drone fanatics on your holiday shopping list.
Welcome to our second annual Robot Holiday Gift Guide. We’ve rounded up 11 robots that will be great gifts for the neat freaks, wannabe coders, toy lovers, and drone fanatics on your holiday shopping list.
Most of the robots on the list were introduced in 2016, but there’s a couple old favorites that we just had to include.
What robots are on your wishlist? Leave us a note in the comments.
For a trip down memory lane, here’s our 2015 Gift Guide.
Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum
Dyson’s 360 Eye robot vacuum made its way to the US in 2016. It’s a little pricey at $999, but the Dyson 360 Eye is the best robot vacuum when it comes to cleaning ability. And it should be. Dyson is a vacuum company, after-all, and it spent nearly 16 years and $46 million to develop the 360 Eye. Here’s how the Dyson 360 Eye compares to the iRobot Roomba 980, which a little less expensive. The 360 Eye can clean for about 45 minutes using the same cyclone technology found in its non-robotic vacuums.
iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum
The $699 Roomba 960 is a more affordable version of the Roomba 980 ($900), but it features an older motor and a shorter battery life of 75 minutes. Other than that, it’s pretty similar to iRobot’s flagship Roomba.
Neato Botvac Connected
The nice thing about robot vacuums is that they can be scheduled to clean while you’re not home. But when cleaning is being done while you’re home, the Neato Botvac Connected offers added convenience with Amazon Alexa voice control. Unfortunately, the voice control isn’t built into the vacuum, it’s done via an Amazon Echo or Amazon Dot. So that special person on your list will need one of those, too.
Samsung POWERbot Turbo Robot Vacuum
The Samsung POWERbot Turbo Robot Vacuum is the newest robot vacuum to hit the market, launching on Dec. 7, 2016. It’s also one of the most, if not the most, expensive robot vacuum on the market at $1,199. But there’s good reason for that. Not only does it offer Alexa voice control, but it also creates a map of your home that is stored on the smartphone app. You can then select specific areas or rooms for the vacuum to clean. There’s also a spot-cleaning feature called “Point Cleaning” that allows you to, using a remote control, shine a light on the floor that the vacuum will follow. So if money is no object and there’s someone on your list who hates vacuuming, this might be a perfect fit.
Propel Star Wars Drones
Propel’s Star Wars drones will be the toy of the holiday season, so good luck getting your hands on them. But if you do, the Star Wars fanatic on your list will be forever indebted to you. At $250 apiece, the T-65 X-wing Starfighter, Millenium Falcon, TIE Advanced X1, and 74-Z Speeder Bike drones can engage in mid-air laser battles. Once a drone is shot three times, it will automatically land itself. The drones can accelerate from 0 to 30 MPH in 3 seconds, and they’ll be flying off the shelves even quicker.
Price: $239.99 each
Star Wars BB-8 Droid
If you can’t get your hands on a Propel Star Wars drone, the BB-8 Droid is another great Star Wars toy. The app-enabled BB-8 has an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic videos. The BB-8, which is built by Sphero, can be controlled via smartphone or table and it responds to your voice.
Anki Cozmo Robot
The first thing my three-year-old daughter wants to do in the morning is play with Cozmo. This adorable robot has always been fun to play with, but the software update on Dec. 5 made Cozmo even more entertaining by giving it the ability to talk more, recognize pets, see in the dark, and play new games. Cozmo could very well be the hottest non-Star Wars toy this holiday season. .
The Sphero SPRK+ is a fully programmable robot designed to inspire curiosity, creativity, and invention through connected play and coding. Some activities with Sphero include actual step-by-step coding with a drag-and-drop interface, while others involve thinking how to creatively use the Sphero’s motions. The waterproof Sphero SPRK+ also includes, inductive charging, an accelerometer and gyroscope, programmable senors and LED lights.
LEGO WeDo 2.0
WeDo 2.0 is designed to introduce elementary school students to robotics, engineering and programming. WeDo 2.0 comes with a number of Lego bricks and uses a drag-and-drop interface for writing basic applications. The kit also includes a Bluetooth Low Energy-based hub that connects to a motor, as well as motion and tilt sensors. WeDo 2.0 is also available in classroom bundles.
Price: Varies by bundle
Amazon Echo may look like a simple speaker, but it’s much more than that. The Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker with Amazon’s own personal assistant, Alexa, to help you throughout your day, hence it being a personal assistant. There are currently over 5,000 skills available for Alexa. And it’s a safe bet Amazon will have special offers this holiday season.
Google Home is the company’s answer to Amazon Echo. It’s a voice-activated speaker, powered by the Google Assistant, that can play music, manage everyday tasks, control smart devices, and share information with you from Google. Very similar to Amazon Echo, but it’s $50 cheaper.