Introduced in 1998, this Lego kit has been perennially popular among the inquisitive set. This year, the company introduced a new version the Lego Mindstorms EV3 ($350), which builds 17 different robots.
The Mindstorms EV3 kit adds an infrared sensor to give robots the ability to detect various objects. The system runs on Linux-based firmware and sports USB and SD ports. A 3D virtual instructional guide, designed by Autodesk, is now available for the iPad. Make sure to check out all the cool bots you can build at the link above.