It’s no secret that robots are all the rage this year. Not only do they provide great entertainment and play value for kids, but they can teach them the basics of programming, which seems necessary for success in today’s digital age. While there are lots of robot options on the market, the trick is finding the right one for your child that won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet.

RoboMe, from WowWee, is the perfect robotic pal for kids ages 8 and up, and at $99, he isn’t over-the-top expensive. RoboMe uses the power of an iPhone or iPod touch and features a fully customizable personality. RoboMe has voice command recognition, remote video control, and facial tracking. Kids can customize his face however they want, and they can even replace RoboMe’s voice with their own. This robot has tons of sensors, so it knows when objects are near, helping it to navigate the surrounding area and avoid obstacles. Completely interactive, RoboMe responds to voice commands and it can even tell when someone is shaking its hand. RoboMe also comes with a remote control, so kids can take control over its movements.
Kids can even teach RoboMe how to respond to original commands using the RoboMe app on their iDevice (here’s where the programming comes in).

One of my favorite things about RoboMe is that he is entirely gender neutral. Kids can make the face look like a girl, boy, robot, alien, or just about anything else they can think up. The sleek white body and remote keep RoboMe all about robotics and not about gender.

The features on this bot really do seem endless, and parents can rest assured that they will get a ton of value for a reasonable price point. Keep in mind, RoboMe requires four C batteries and three triple A batteries to be installed in three separate places (two different spots on the robot as well as inside the remote), so be sure to have these on hand.