Top 10 Best Gifts for Robotics Engineers


Top 10 Best Gifts for Robotics Engineers


What are the best gifts for robotics engineers? The obvious answer is some kind of robot. But it’s not as easy as that. Most robots and robotic kits are toys aimed at children. Even though most engineers are just big kids who still enjoy playing with toys, you don’t want something that’s too basic. That would just be too boring. That’s why we’ve done our research here at NewEngineer to come up with a list of the top ten best gifts for robot engineers. You can rest assured that every item on this list will put a smile on the face of any robotics engineer. So, without further ado, let’s get started with number one on the list...

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1. Makeblock Ultimate Robot Kit

There will only be two actual robotic kits on this top ten list - the reason being that robotics engineers work with robots all day. For them to want to play with one when they get home, well, it’s going to take something pretty special, right? That’s why we’ve put this Makeblock Ultimate Robot Kit at number one in the list. It’s awesome for adults and kids alike. This robot kit is fun, educational, and may even be useful, as you can program the robot to do simple tasks like fetching the newspaper from the doormat. With ten different configurations, the form and application of this bot is entirely up to you. It can be wirelessly controlled using bluetooth, or you can program commands using Python. This truly is the ultimate robotics “toy.”

2. Robot clock

There’s something cute about this kitsch retro robot-themed clock. It’s like something out of a futuristic 1950’s movie (or for people who grew up in the UK in the 1980’s, it bears a resemblance to Metal Mickey!). The alarm clock itself is pretty simple, with just two dials on the back to set time and alarm. The alarm makes a buzzer sound and the robot’s eyes light up, so there’s no going back to sleep. The arms are movable and have crocodile clips for hands - the better to leave yourself a hand-written message that you’ll see first thing in the morning. All in all, this makes a nice quirky gift for any robotics engineer. 

3. Marvin the Paranoid Android themed gift

Marvin is the paranoid android in the marvellous Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The eternally miserable and cynical robot has given up on life. The character in the book (that has been portrayed on film numerous times) is lugubrious, but his hopelessly ironic worldview never fails to elicit a laugh. If the robot engineer you’re buying for is into Marvin or the Hitchhiker’s Guide, there’s plenty of themed merchandise out there. Our particular favourite is this “No Hope” keyring, a clever take on the Obama “Hope” election campaign.   

4. Isaac Asimov collection

Any robot engineer worth their salt will be familiar with Isaac Asimov, and will have probably read several of his books. Asmiov was a prolific writer in his lifetime, writing and editing over 500 books and novellas. He was a science fiction writer who was mildly obsessed with robotics, writing a series of 37 short stories and 6 novels, known as the Robot series, including “I, Robot” which was turned into a movie starring Will Smith in 2004.

Asimov also devised the 3 laws of robotics:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

So, yes, any self-respecting robot engineer should have a selection of Isaac Asmiov’s books on their bookshelf.

5. Crawling quadruped robot kit

This menacing robotic quadruped can be assembled using the full box kit provided. Once built, this robot is lots of fun to play with. The movement is precise and quick, controlled by a wireless gamepad. You can easily make it walk, run, hop, and dance. To program this robot, you can create “sketches” which will guide it to perform different movements. This is a great gift for robot engineers as it provides both a healthy challenge to assemble, and hours of fun once you’ve done so. 

6. R2D2 Lego kit

All engineers love lego. Most engineers love Star Wars. And robot engineers love robots. Click these facts together to reveal that this Lego R2D2 model is the ideal gift for a robotics engineer. Standing at over twelve inches high and seven inches wide, and consisting of over 2,000 Lego pieces, this is a model that will impress. In fact, when you’ve finished assembling, you’ll probably want to leave it on display as a decoration. Or push it around making beeping noises while you pretend to be Luke Skywalker.

7. Albert Einstein wifi-controlled talking robot

This entertaining little Albert Einstein robot has an impressive range of body movements and facial expressions. Einstein connects to WiFi and you can control his movements. Mini-Einstein will also ask you plenty of questions about physics and maths, which you can answer to earn points. Great for adults and kids to play with, this robot can be programmed wirelessly with different quiz databases and learning modules at different levels. 

8. Robotic floor cleaner

Ok, so you’re right, these robotic cleaners or sweepers have been around for a while now, and historically haven’t garnered a great reputation. If you’re looking to get one of these for a robotics engineer, the good news is that the technology has improved and they represent a much better purchase now. This particular model is super quiet, has a built-in gyroscope and navigation box, and has a smarter anti-bumping and anti-falling system. It is a mopping bot, rather than vacuum cleaner, and has different modes including deep-mopping, fast-mopping, and fast dry mopping - great gift for any house-proud robotics engineer.

9. Robot alarm clock

This may be the second alarm clock on this list, but there’s a distinct difference. If the robot engineer you’re buying for is the kind of person who hits the snooze button one too many times, this could be the perfect gift. At the preset alarm time, it will jump off your nightstand or bedside table (up to 3 feet high) beep, flash, and move around your bedroom. In order to turn it off, you have to get out of bed and catch the darn thing! It’s either a great idea or just plain cruel - you decide! 

10. Smartphone paper aeroplane kit

To round off the list of ten best gifts for robotics engineers, we have this extraordinarily fun paper aeroplane kit. It may not be strictly robotic, but it does have moving parts, it’s techie-friendly, and it’s fun. So, we’re pretty sure that most robotics engineers would love it.The paper plane links up to an app on your smartphone, so you can control it easily. Just don’t let any school kids get hold of this, can you imagine how much they would annoy their teacher?