Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Inventions


Real-World Robots Inspired by Humans

by (author) Helaine Becker

illustrated by Alex Ries

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2018
Inventions, General, How Things Work-Are Made
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
Recommended Reading age
8 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Using increasingly sophisticated levels of artificial intelligence (AI) and embodied intelligence (EI), a new generation of robots is being designed to look, act and even think like humans. Hubots, or human-inspired robots, are expanding the boundaries of what robots can do. Here, ten different real-life hubots are described, highlighting each one's appearance, unique skills and purpose --- from fighting fires on the high seas, to acting as setup crew for space colonies, to providing companionship for the elderly. The book also includes an illustrated graph of the uncanny valley, which shows us what distinguishes a friendly robot from a creepy one, and back matter that provides a closer examination of some of the robots' physical components and looks to the future of these fascinating machines.

The creators of the popular Zoobots bring to life the groundbreaking robotics technology that's changing the world. Award-winning author Helaine Becker uses short paragraphs and accessible vocabulary to present a book that will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Hyperrealistic illustrations by Alex Ries enhance the interest level of the material for children, especially those who love all things that are weird, unfamiliar and futuristic. Reference tools include a glossary and an index. This topic spans science, technology, inventions and engineering lessons. It also provides a terrific jumping-off point for classroom discussions about the larger societal issues surrounding these cutting-edge robots.

About the authors


Helaine Becker
est l'auteure de nombreux livres jeunesse primés. Elle a écrit plus de 80
livres, dont Raconte-moi les graphiques : L'histoire de William Playfair et
l'album illustré à succès Un porc-épic dans un sapin. Helaine
habite à Toronto, en Ontario.


HELAINE BECKER is the author of numerous of books of fiction and non-fiction for children, among them the best-selling A Porcupine in a Pine Tree and its sequel, Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells, The Haunted House That Jack Built and Little Jack Horner, Live from the Corner. Her books have won the Silver Birch Award and the CBA Libris Award and have been shortlisted for the Red Cedar, the Hackmatack and the Rocky Mountain awards. Helaine lives in Toronto with her family. Visit her at

Helaine Becker's profile page

Alex Ries is an illustrator and concept artist with a strong interest in real-world technology. He illustrated the award-winning children's book Zoobots. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Alex Ries' profile page


  • Short-listed, Yellow Cedar Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Eureka! Nonfiction Children's Book Award, California Reading Association

Editorial Reviews

... recommended for middle grade independent reading and technology research.—School Library Journal

Hubots is well-written with good attention to age-appropriate language and terminology.—CM Magazine

... full of information that will fascinate anyone with an interest in future technology, robotics, and artificial intelligence.—Resource Links

Ries's highly realistic illustrations are tech-geek cool ...—Quill & Quire

... offers equal measures of promise and provocation.—Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by

Other titles by

Related lists