Android Gift Guide 2022 - IEEE Spectrum

Android Gift Guide 2022 – IEEE Spectrum

It’s been a few years, however IEEE Spectrum Robot gift guide back in 2022! We’ve got all kinds of new robots, and now is an excellent time to buy one (or a dozen), because several of them are on sale this week. We’ve tried to focus on consumer bots that are already available (or that you can at least order), but depending on when you read this guide, the prices we have here may not be up to date, and we don’t take shipping into account.

And if these bots aren’t enough for you, many of our picks from years past are still available: check out our guides from 2019And the 2018And the 2017And the 2016And the 2015And the 2014And the 2013And the 2012. And as always, if you have suggestions you’d like to share, post a comment to help the rest of us find the perfect robot gift.

Lego robot kits

Lego has decided to discontinue its Mindstorms classic robot sets, but they will be supported for another two years and this is your last chance to buy one. If you like Lego’s approach to robotics education but don’t want to invest in a system at the end of its life, Lego also makes an education kit called mounting which share many hardware and software features for students in grades six through eight.

$360 – $385 USD
Puzzle Games

Sphero Indi

The Sphero Indi robot, which has a rectangular blue body with four wheels and two circles as eyes, stands on a colorful desk.

Indy is an intelligent educational robot designed to teach screen-free problem-solving and coding to children up to 4 years old, using a small wheeled robot with a color sensor and a system of colored ribbons that command the robot to perform various behaviours. There’s also an app for accessing more options, and Sphero has even more robots to choose from once your child is ready for something more.

Sphero | Amazon

Nibble and Beetle

Petoi's four-legged robot kits, one made of laser-cut wood and the other plastic, stand next to each other.

Petoi robot quad kits are a great (and relatively affordable) way to get started with two legged robots. Whether you go with Nybble the cat or Bittle the dog, you can do some easy hardware assembly and then take advantage of a host of friendly software tools to get your little friend running around doing tricks.

$220 – $260 USD

iRobot root

iRobot Root, with a white hexagonal body with blue and yellow lights, uses its magnetic wheels to drive vertically on a white board with planet Earth and stars drawn on it.

The root of educational robotics It has a long and noble history, and iRobot has built on that to create an inexpensive platform to help kids learn to code starting at the age of four. The more expensive ones include an RGB sensor, a programmable eraser, and the ability to stick to and move around on vertical whiteboards.

100 – 250 USD

Turtle Bot 4

Two Turtlebot 4 robots, one shorter and one taller with a raised platform, both equipped with lidar and cameras, stand next to each other against a white background.

The latest generation TurtleBot from Clearpath, iRobot and Open Robotics is a powerful and versatile ROS (Robot Operating System) platform for product research and development. For aspiring roboticists at an undergraduate and possibly high school level, the Turtle Bot 4 As good as it gets unless you want to spend more. And the fact that TurtleBots is in such wide use means that if you need some help, the ROS community will (hopefully) have your back.

$1,200 – $1,900

iRobot Create 3

A man uses a soldering iron to work on the iRobot Create 3 robot, which has a Roomba-like body with a camera module mounted on top.

Newly updated just last year, Create iRobot 3 is the perfect platform for people who want to build their own bot, but aren’t All from their bot. The sturdy portable base is basically a Roomba without the cleaning parts, and it’s easy to add your own devices on top. ROS 2 is running, but you can start with Python.


mini popper

A small yellow four-legged robot called the Mini Pupper stands on a desk with two feet that steps on a smartphone to scale.

Mini Pupper is one of the best ways to get started with ROS. This legged robot is open source, and runs ROS on a Raspberry Pi, which makes it very affordable if you have your own board. Even if you don’t, the Mini Pupper kit is very affordable for what you get, and it’s a fun hardware project if you decide to save a little extra cash by putting it together yourself.

400 – 585 USD

luxonis ray

A computer-generated image shows the Luxonis Rae robot, which has a black and purple body with two wheels, two cameras, and an arithmetic unit inside.

I’m not sure if the world is ready for ROS 2 yet, but you can get there opinion, which combines a pocket-sized mobile robot, a pair of depth cameras, and an onboard computer for a very cheap price. The app support means that Rae can do great things out of the box, but it’s easy to get more in-depth with it, too. Rae will be delivered as early as next year, but it’s cool to think a Kickstarter IOU is a perfectly acceptable gift.


Roomba combo j7 +

The Roomba sits on its charging base, which also empties the robot's dustbin, in a wood-floored living room.

iRobot’s new best in class wet sweeping and mopping kit j7 + roomba It will make your floors sparkling clean, except for the carpet, and it’s smart enough not to try to shine it because it will cleverly lift the wet mop out of the way. It’s also connected to the cloud and offloads itself. You’ll have to put water in them if you want to wipe, but it’s better than wiping yourself.


Neato D9

There is a dark colored Neato robot vacuum with a green light bulb on a white background.

Neato robots may not be quite as spread out as the Roomba, but they are excellent vacuums, and they use a level lidar system for obstacle avoidance and map making. The nice thing about lidar (besides the fact that it works in complete darkness) is that Neato robots have no cameras whatsoever and aren’t physically able to gather images of you or your home.

Neato Robotics


Weed-killing robot, with a cylindrical body of white and green plastic, drives dirt in the garden.

How often do you find an affordable, useful, reliable, durable and fully autonomous home robot? Not often! But intonation All of these things: Powered entirely by the sun, it slowly wanders around your garden, beating down weeds as they sprout while avoiding mature plants. All you have to do is make sure he can’t escape, then just let him go and forget about him for months at a time.

$ 200

Amazon Astro

The Amazon Astro robot, with two wheels and a knee-high body with a tablet screen with two circles as eyes, stands next to someone answering the door.

If you like the idea of ​​having a semi-autonomous mobile robot with a direct link to Amazon that roams your house trying to be helpful, then Amazon Astro It may not sound like a terrible idea. You’ll have to apply to get one, and it looks more like shareware, but it could be fun, I guess?

1000 dollars

Skydio 2+

Skydio 2+ flies with a black and blue frame, four propellers and a gimbal camera on a gray background.

The Skydio 2+ It is an incremental (but important) update to the Skydio 2 drone, with its advanced magical obstacle avoidance abilities and very impressive tracking skills. There are many cheaper, more portable drones out there, and if flying is your thing, get one of these. But if you love photography, the Skydio 2+ is the drone you’ll want to fly.



A DJI FPV drone hovers in mid-air while the operator with FPV scopes and remote controller stands in the background.

We had a blast flying DJI’s FPV drone. The VR system is exhilarating and the drone is easy to fly even for FPV beginners, yet powerful enough to grow along with your piloting skills. Just don’t be cocky, or you’ll break it. Don’t ask me how I know this.



Eliq It is a more practical embodied voice assistant than a smart speaker. It’s designed for seniors who may be spending a lot of time alone at home, and can help with a range of things, including health and wellness tasks and connecting with friends and family. ElliQ costs $250 upfront, plus a $30-$40 monthly subscription.

$250 or more


A child with brown hair observes the Moxie robot, which has a green body the size of a coffee maker with a screen as a face that shows green eyes, eyebrows, and a mouth.

Not all robots for kids are designed to teach them to code: Moxy It helps “support children’s social-emotional development through play.” The carefully designed and coordinated interaction between Moxie and babies helps them communicate and build social skills in a friendly and engaging way. Note that Moxie also requires a $40 monthly subscription fee.


Betty Cobo

The person uses its hands to hold the Betty Kubo, which has a furry gray ball-shaped body and a short tail.

What is Qoobo? It’s “the pillow-tail that heals your heart,” according to the people who made it. According to us, it’s a round cushion of fur that responds to your touch by wagging its tail, like a single-purpose cat. It’s a mystery tail treat!

Qoobo | Amazon

Go1 console

A man in tracksuit jogs next to a Unitree Go1 four-legged robot in a park.

Before you decide on a real dog, consider this Go1 console While that. Sure, it’s pricey, but you know what? So are real dogs. And unlike a real dog, you only need to walk the Go1 when You are Feel it, and you can turn it off and store it in a closet or under the bed whenever you want. For a dynamic, full-featured robot, it’s amazingly cheap, just keep in mind that shipping is $1,000.


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