Gizmos & Gadgets: Meet Sphero – Part Ball, Part Robot and Supposedly Lots of Fun

December 13, 2013 – When you visit the Sphero site you watch a video of what people do with this “smart ball” which comes in two versions, one that rolls at a rate of about a meter (3 feet) per second and costs $79.99 U.S., and its souped up cousin Sphero 2.0, twice as fast with a $129.99 price tag.

This mindless little ball reminds me of Slinky, that spring-based toy we had years ago that climbed down stairs providing endless fun for kids with time on their hands. But in Sphero‘s defense it is far more sophisticated. You control its movements with the accompanying smartphone app. You can customize and program it.  It will go through water, roll up a ramp, leap tiny buildings in a single bound, accompany you while you jog, tease the dickens out of your dog and drive your kitten crazy.

Sphero 2.0 comes with an inductive charging base, power adapter, two ramps to create instant games, a quick start guide and access to free games through the Google Play Store or iTunes App Store.

Sphero has a developer community as well called the SpheroVerse and you can join up to get the software development kit (SDK) and start creating your own apps and games for this trendy little smart ball.

The creation of Orbotix, a company of young nerdy robotic enthusiasts who are based in Boulder, Colorado, Sphero may be that unique stocking stuffer for you this Christmas.

 

Sphero 2.0

 


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...

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