These are toys aimed at children yet have great value in creating robots, learning mechanical systems and engineering in general. In fact - building real robots with these toys has become a great educational aid for teaching physics, electronics and many other subjects.

  • Lego - MindStorms
  • Lego RCX
  • Capsella
  • Meccano - a classic construction toy using metal parts and bolts.
  • MegaBloks
  • K Nex
  • FischerTechnik - this can be expensive, but is a very versatile system with elements that look more like industrial design than toys.

Some people can get a little evangelical about only using a single construction toy and not using any custom parts - but for the sake of building robots - it may be better to swap and choose.

(paid links)

There’s an interesting idea that allows the interconnection of K Nex and Lego called Sploids.