Interactive Toys for 2015

Here is a fresh batch of interactive toys that we’ve found that we think will unlock the imagination in your child.

OWI Robotic Arm Edge

OWI Robotic Arm

OWI Robotic Arm

The OWI Robotic Arm will provide your child with plenty of interactive playtime.  Using the wired control you can command the robotic arm gripper to open and close and move in all sorts of directions.  It features radial wrist motion of 120°, an extensive elbow range of motion of 300°, base rotation of 270°, base motion of 180°, and vertical reach of 15 inches.  It has a horizontal reach of 12.6 inches and lifting capacity of 100g.

The arm has some additional features such as a search light design on the gripper and audible safety gear indicators on all 5 gear boxes to prevent potential injury or gear breakage during operation.

Recommended ages: For ages 10 and up.

Add USB Interface cable and Software, OWI-535USB, (not included) to integrate programming and expand the capabilities of the Robotic Arm Edge.

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Drone for Beginners – UDI U818A Quadcopter

UDI U818A Drone

UDI U818A Drone

There are now dozens of drones and quadcopters to choose from at very reasonable prices.  But with so many features it’s hard to know which one to buy.  We plan to publish a full drone round-up in the next few weeks, but here is a drone that is good for beginners.

The UDI U818A Quadcopter has a lot of advantages for beginners.  The first is the low price.  If you happen to crash and break it you’re not out hundreds of dollars.  And since beginners will take time to learn proper quadcopter control, the four-loop style frame protects the large rotors in case of a crash.  Replacement rotors are relatively cheap (under $3 a set) and easy to replace if they don’t survive. We recommend buying a set of rotors in anticipation of that first inevitable crash.

Now for the good stuff.  The UDI U818A includes a video camera that captures 640 x 480-pixel video, but it can be shaky as the drone vibrates. Higher-priced models will have much better camera capabilities, but for a beginner this package is hard to beat.

Recommended for ages 14 and up

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Snap Circuits LIGHT Electronics Kit

Snap Circuits LIGHT

Snap Circuits LIGHT

This Snap Circuits LIGHT electronics kit is one of the highest rated electronics kit on Amazon.com, and there are good reasons for this.  The one main advantage this kit has over other kits is that all of the projects involve LIGHT, and there are actually over 175 projects to work with.  There is an interface to and iPod or other MP3 player, which plays a small electronic organ.  We love interactive toys on this site, so this one gets our “thumbs up”.

Recommended for ages 8-15 years (not for small kids)

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