Best robotics kits for middle school [2020 Guide]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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Robotics kits for middle school

Only after the child has grasped a few basic notions about mechanics and electricity will he be able to fully understand the complexities of creating a robot.

That’s why most robotics kits are usually designed to cater to those that are in middle school, or older. This is because they manage to blend fun with education, allowing children to continue learning even when not at school.

Given their educational potential, we’ve decided to compile a list of what we think are the best robotics kits a middle schooler may like.

Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.

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Top robotic kits for middle schoolers to buy

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313Not only is the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313 a good robotics kit for kids of all ages, but it is also a good STEM toy since it promotes your child’s use of imagination.

They can use over 600 parts to build 17 different predesigned robots, or simply try to construct a whole new design of their own making.

Pros:

  • This educational STEM robot toy makes engineering fun for everyone who builds it
  • LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 is built with 601 pieces and includes the intelligent EV3 Brick, 3 servo motors, plus color, touch and IR sensors
  • The parts can be used for 17 different robotic designs
  • Compatible with all other lego sets

Cons:

  • Robots tend to burn batteries pretty fast

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LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101

LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101Yet another robotics kit from LEGO, the LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 is great toy if you want to build some of the most well-known robots in the universe.

All robot creations run on batteries, and they can perform a lot of complex tasks, such as dancing, playing music and more.

Additionally, the parts are compatible with those of other robotic kits allowing your child’s imagination to run wild in terms of new robot ideas.

Pros:

  • Includes 847 LEGO pieces
  • Can build and rebuild into 5 cool multifunctional models.
  • A tablet or mobile phone is required, but not included

Cons:

  • Sorting the 847 pieces can be boring

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Thames & Kosmos Robotics Kit

Thames & Kosmos Robotics KitThe Thames & Kosmos Robotics Kit kit gives kids a simple, fun, and customizable introduction to robotics that lets them build eight motorized machines.

You will need to download an app through which you will be able to control your robotic creations, and you can make them perform tasks that are actually quite complex.

Pros:

  • Requires a tablet or smartphone
  • Using the app interface, you can program the robots you build to behave 
  • Comes with a full-color, 64-page step-by-step illustrated manual 
  • The ultrasonic sensor works on the same principle as sonar

Cons:

  • App has issues with newer versions of iOS

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LEGO Creator Robo Explorer 31062

LEGO Creator Robo Explorer 31062If hundreds of parts, wiring, and small motors are just not your thing, then something more simple like the LEGO Creator Robo Explorer 31062 is a great alternative.

You can use it to create either a humanoid robot, a dog, or a bird, all of which have minimalist designs that stimulate your child’s imagination.

Pros:

  • Robo Explorer robot toy features bright-green eyes, working tracks, rotating body and head, and more
  • 3-in-1 model: rebuilds into a robot dog with a light-up jetpack or a robot bird with light-up eyes with the lego light brick
  • Robo Explorer stands over 4” (11cm) tall
  • Robot dog stands over 2” (7cm) tall

Cons:

  • Designs may be a bit too simplistic for some

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CIRO Solar Robot Kit

CIRO Solar Robot KitIf you want your child to learn how to build robots but hate the hidden costs of constantly having to buy batteries, then the CIRO Solar Robot Kit is the right thing for both of you.

The kits contain a bit under 200 parts and you can create 12 different robots by using them. Additionally, all you need to do to make them function is to just leave them out in the sun beforehand.

Pros:

  • Come with 190 pieces that can build 12 different types of robots from one kit
  • Includes the robot’s moving and connecting parts like gears, plates, tires, and shafts
  • Comes with a step-by-step guide
  • Robots are solar-powered
  • Stimulates your child’s creativity

Cons:

  • Can’t do much with it on cloudy or rainy days

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Closing thoughts on robotics kits for middle school

Getting your child engaged in a hobby at an early age is the best way to make sure that the certain hobby actually sticks.

That’s why introducing them to the wonderful world of robotics when they are about in middle school is a very good idea.

Furthermore, even if they hate the building process, at least they will get a cool-looking robot when they are finally finished assembling it.

FAQ: Learn more about robotics kits

  • What do you need to build a robot?

Basics materials for building a robot include a transistor, a resistor, a capacitor, a diode, integrated circuits, switches, sensors and computer simulation software for intermediate users.

  • What are programmable robots?

Programmable robots are robot kits that allow users to learn programming and robotics in a simple and practical manner. Users can program the robots to perform a series of simple tasks and then build onto this experience to program complex sets of tasks.

  • What language are robots programmed in?

Robots are usually programmed in C++ or Python. C++ is the perfect choice for programming simple tasks on low-level hardware. Python is used for complex tasks in advanced robotics.

  • Does robotics require math?

Robotics requires a solid grasp of mathematics, especially algebra. Overall, robotics is a multi disciplinary field where you need to have strong knowledge in electronics, computer science, cognitive science and other fields. Being able to successfully blend all this information into a functional end product is crucial.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and updated in February 2020 for freshness, and accuracy.