Gift Guide: Robotic Companion Gifts For Those Who Prefer Artificial Friends

Robotic Companion Gifts For Those Who Prefer Artificial Friends

Maintaining human relationships can be such hard work sometimes. And if you know someone who's decided to cut ties with their fellow man and completely avoid all that emotional drama, here are some robotic gift suggestions that guarantee they won't be lonely as a result. After all, robots don't really have birthdays to forget, do they?

Baxter Assembly Line Robot

Designed to serve as an affordable way for small businesses to automate an assembly line or accurately perform other repetitive tasks, Baxter's articulate arms and advanced vision system means it can do almost anything. From joining someone in a game of Bridge, to helping prepare dinner, to even washing dishes. And it can be taught new skills (can anyone say hugs?) by example, so programming know-how isn't necessary. $22,000

iRobot AVA 500

It's true that they're impossible to offend, but robots are terrible converationalists. Sometimes you still need a human voice to keep you company, and iRobot's AVA 500 represents the latest advancements in teleconferencing technology. So when your friends virtually visit, you can just turn them off when you want them to leave. Brilliant

iRobot Roomba 880

When you remove humans from your every day life, you also start to miss all that help when it comes to cleaning your home. But thankfully the world's most popular robot companion has been vastly upgraded with the Roomba 880. Offering better suction, battery life, and a brushless design which means you never have to do any maintenance. $700

Romo App-Controlled Robotic Pet

Scanning social media on your smartphone is a great way to stay connected from a distance, but your iPhone makes for one cold companion. Until you dock it to the Romo, that is, which turns your device into a friendly-faced robotic pet that can roam your home like a dog or cat, minus any of the mess. $150

Lego Mindstorms EV3

Maybe your friend already has the perfect artificial companion in mind, but is lacking the technical expertise to bring it to life. Once again Lego comes to the rescue as the realiser of imaginations with the latest generation of its Mindstorms robotic building toy, adding Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and app compatibility. $350

My Keepon Interactive Robot

There are a lot of things you start to miss when spending life as a hermit, like dancing. And until a life-size ballroom bot is perfected, the diminutive Keepon will serve as an adequate substitute. Made from a soft rubberised material, it bops and sways in time with your music, showing impressive moves for a tiny robot with no arms or legs. $60

Hexbug Aquabots

While lacking the love and affection of a human or dog, fish can make for wonderful companions as they circle their tank trying to escape. And Hexbug's Aquabots offer remarkably lifelike swimming and diving actions without you ever having to remember to feed them, save for a new battery every few weeks. $10

Robugtix T8 Robotic Spider

Sony's AIBO robotic dog is long gone, with no sign of returning. So if you know someone who'd love a pet minus the barking, meowing, shedding, and walks, the articulate and lifelike T8 robot spider could be the next best thing. Unless they're an extreme arachnophobic, then Christmas morning will be awkward. $2950

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