While swiping your finger across a smartphone or tablet can be pretty intriguing, there are are lots of tech gadgets out there that are still incorporating other types of technology. Some of my favorites are the old-school remote controlled cars, helicopters, and even robots. The good news is that technology has evolved to a place where those once-clunky toys are really pretty awesome. Here are some to watch out for.
Never heard of it? Neither had I, but it looks really awesome. It’s a ball (get it – a sphere) that you can control with your smartphone. The ball comes with a few ramps you can use to make it to jumps and tricks, but you can really get creative with it, too. It’s waterproof – so why not throw it in your sink or in a glass? It lights up in different colors and it can also be used in conjunction with some interactive games on your tablet or phone. Sphero retails around $108.
Air Hogs AtmoSpheres
Alright, this toy doesn’t technically have a remote control – but your hand actually is the remote for this toy. I have to admit, I’ve seen some really cool and affordable toys from Air Hogs lately and this one takes the cake. The sensors inside detect your hand motion, allowing it to float in the air! This toy retails around $28.
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Hello! If you’re a die-hard Lego lover, this one is for you. It’s not just a Lego kit. It’s not just a robot. It’s a creative combination of both that allows your child to learn about technology and programming – all without actually having to learn real coding techniques. You can use a remote control to move the robot – or your smartphone. The biggest drawback is the price, ranging between $300 and $400.
The folks at Anki have taken the concept of the remote control car and completely overhauled it. These sleek and sophisticated cars are controlled by your iOS device and run on a mat that is far more advanced than your old-school race car tracks. The tacky mat allows for speed without allowing your cars to fly; the artificial intelligence features allow you to play alone or with others; and it’s just plain cool. This toy is for mature, responsible audiences and retails around $200.
There are tons of great remote controlled toys out there on the market today. You’re bound to find something that appeals to your age audience, maturity levels, and levels of responsibility. Enjoy!