Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
It will probably be many years before you can buy a robot with the smarts and functionality of Rosie from “The Jetsons.” Nonetheless, today’s robots are moving in that direction.
In this article, you’ll learn about some of the hottest robots already on the market and those being prepped for launch later this year.
Many of the robots currently available are ideal for beginners or those looking for something more challenging. They are available at various pricing levels, from dirt-cheap to a serious investment.
2017 could be a big year for robots for the home – robots set to release this year are more feature-rich than previous models. In most cases, they are also significantly more expensive.
1. Sphero Ollie
Orbotix’s Sphero Ollie is an app-enabled racing robot compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled iOS and Android devices. With a range of 30 meters, Sphero Ollie can spin, flip, and drive. At night, built-in LEDs help light its way.
If you’re looking to build your own robot, consider the Exofabulatronixx 5200 by MOSS. Featuring 52 MOSS blocks with magnetic connection points and 140 carbon steel balls that act as connectors, designing your Exofabulatronixx 5200 should bring you hours of fun.
Each Exofabulatronixx includes a battery, two motors, two pivots, two flashlights, two light sensors, two distance sensors, and a microphone sensor. An online recipe page will you get started. After assembling your robot, use MOSS’s free suite of iOS and Android apps to put it to work!
The Exofabulatronixx 5200 is $349.99.
Industrial robots aren’t new. They’re just getting smarter with each passing year. To teach your kids more about advanced machinery, consider the remote-controlled Robotic Arm Edge.
A functional replica of a fully automated robotic arm, the Robotic Arm Edge allows for various movements at the wrist, the elbows, and fingers. Best of all, it’s available for under $50.
The 8-inch tall WowWee Coder MiP is a humanoid robot with LED eyes that balances Segway-like on two wheels. With the free RoboRemote app (compatible with most iOS, Android, and FireOS devices), you can program your robot using simple drag and drop commands. By doing so, you can easily control its actions and reactions. You can also create if-then statements and play games using your smart device.
Another way to control your Coder MiP robot is by making specific hand motions that it picks up using its IR sensors. The robot has six programmable modes in total, including Tricks, Roam, Track, Dance, Cage, and Stack.
Available in multiple styles, the WowWee MiP is available for around $60.
5. Roomba 980
The first autonomous Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner arrived way back in 2002. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that iRobot released its first truly smart vacuum cleaner: the Roomba 980.
Unlike previous models, the Roomba 980 comes with a free app for Android and iOS devices. Using the app, you can start, pause, or end the current job. You can also use the app to send the Roomba back to its base for charging.
Who says robots have to be expensive? The 4M Tin Can Robot is priced at around $10. The kit allows you to turn a used soda can into a motorized monster or silly robot of your own design.
Announced at this year’s Consumer Electrics Show (CES), Vobot is a bedtime smart alarm clock that helps you fall asleep and wake up.
Vobot also offers voice interaction via Amazon Alexa, making it a smart device in its own right. Best of all, it works without a smartphone since it has built-in Wi-Fi internet connectivity. With Vobot, you can utilize white noise, soothing music, natural sounds, and personalized content to get a good night’s sleep.
Vobot launches later this year for $35. Preorders are expected to start in March 2017.
8. Aido [No Longer Available]
Originally funded through Indiegogo, Aido is an interactive personal home robot with many uses. It’s also one of the cutest robots on this list.
Aido features an interactive projector system, advanced speech recognition, and face detection. It also integrates with your existing home automation and security systems.
With its projector, Aido can project movies, games, and other content on a wall. You can also use Aido to send pictures to your friends, play music from Spotify, or get current weather conditions. In addition, Aido serves as a universal remote to control your home appliances, including televisions, heating systems, and smart home cameras.
Aido was originally supposed to ship in October 2016. It’s now likely to become available later this year. When it does launch, the Aido Classic will sell for $549. Other accessories, including a smart charging dock, will be available separately.
The 20-inch Kuri from Mayfield Robotics should also launch before the end of 2017. It’s called “a loyal little home robot with a cheerful personality.” Kuri features an HD camera that allows you to check on pets while you’re away. It also includes a four microphone array, dual speakers, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Among its entertainment offerings, Kuri lets you listen to your favorite songs, audiobooks, and podcasts. It will also connect to smart home hubs through products like IFTTT.
Kuri is pricey at $699 and is now accepting preorders with a $100 down payment.
10. Aristotle [No Longer Available]
Not all robots are mobile. Think of Mattel’s upcoming Aristotle as the first Amazon Echo for children with a smart camera and light bulb thrown in.
First introduced at this year’s CES, Aristotle is a personality-driven hardware assistant that acts as both a digital nanny for parents and a teaching companion for kids. It features two components: a webcam and a cylindrical speaker.
Developed alongside Microsoft and Qualcomm, Aristotle has been designed as an all-in-one solution. However, it will also work with other smart home products already on the market, including Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, Amazon Alexa, and more.
Mattel promises to ship the $299 Aristotle beginning this summer.
As you can see, today’s robots come in various sizes and price points. While many of the smartest among them are yet to be released, there’s still an excellent selection available right now. To find the perfect robot for your home, consider what you’d like it to do and the price you’re willing to pay. Most of all, happy shopping.
Of the robots on this list, which one would you like to buy? Mention your choice in the comments below.