It’s time once again for our annual countdown of the top 10 Christmas gift ideas for robot geeks. With the growing popularity of robots, everyone knows at least one person who spends all their time building strange little machines. What do you get them for Christmas? Well, we’re here to help. The robots.net founding editors, steve, Rog-a-Matic, and The Swirling Brain have made their lists and checked them twice. Then we took those three lists and, using a carefully measured and computed statistical comparison method that we call “close your eyes and poke things randomly with your finger”, we determined what the top 10 gift ideas are. As usual, we’ve thrown in a few stocking stuffers and extras that we thought were cool even if they didn’t make the list
MAKE’s robot gift guide. In the last few years, the world of hobby robotics has exploded. Driven by the plummeting prices and ubiquity of microcontrollers, servomotors, and other electronic and mechanical components, the growth in personal fabrication technologies, and the success of such commercial toy, hobby, and domestic robots as Lego Mindstorms, the Robosapien line, Japanese mini humanoids, and iRobot’s cleaning machines, robots are finally becoming rather commonplace (if still only in niche domains). And, of course, the robot growth being seeded by these new technologies is watered by the Big Muddy of the Internet, with its rapid information and idea exchange. The next generation of engineers and industrial designers who’ll build tomorrow’s robots are growing up with Vex kits and Arduino microcontrollers in their hands today.
For our MAKE Robot Gift Guide, we’ve put together a sampling of robot-related offerings from the Maker Shed, as well as some other robots we fancy. If you give or get any of these bots for the holidays, or especially if you or your recipients, hack them, we’d love to hear about it.