Early robotic toys were little more than what we call action figures today. They were most often shaped roughly like human beings except that their heads were square. Their arms and legs were hinged so that they could swing back and forth. There would be a wind up key in the back. Twisting it would tighten a spring which in turn would cause the arms to swing or the legs to walk forward or maybe both. Sometimes there would be a light bulb and small battery behind the eyes which would make them glow or flash. Sometimes they would be capable of making some kind of repetitive noise. They were really pretty simple devices. Kids did love them, however. It's still possible to find some of these vintage robotic toys at auctions. They are popular collectible items.
More modern robotic toys are very different from the early models. While you can still get one that is shaped like a square headed human, there are a lot of others to choose from. Some are small cars that can be driven by remote control. Others are dinosaurs that move and walk around. One very popular type of modern robotic toy is ones that are made to resemble animals. They are really a cross between a robot and a classic stuffed animal. Many are made to look like baby lions or kittens or puppies. These toy robots do a lot more than just walk around with their eyes flashing. Many can do a number of tricks such as "come" or "play dead". Many of them can mimic the facial expressions of real animals which makes them the next best thing to a real pet for a child.