In order to get better in robotics, you need to play around with real robots. TIAGo is not your average robot though. It is a research robot that is 100% ROS based and completely configurable. It has an arm reach of 75cm. It also features a laptop tray with USB and Ethernet ports.
TIAGo can detect, recognize, and track faces and objects. You can optionally use force/torque sensors on its wrist. The robot is capable of gripping and manipulating objects as well. More information is available here.