Electronics

The Sphero Robotic Ball Review



The Sphero Robotic Ball Review

Did you know that robotics engineers can make over $100,000 a year? Yes, it's true! That much money to make and play with robots! Ok, so we're sure it's a little more involved than that, but why not set your kid up for a great and lucrative future by fostering his or her interest in robotics early on? Enter Sphero. Sphero is a company that specializes in something called "connected play." They integrate robotic and digital technology and result is immersive, fun experiences that you'll never get bored of. Don't think of Sphero's namesake product as just a toy or learning experience for kids though, because that's totally not the case. Adults also can't get enough of it!   

Sphero 2.0 is the second generation of Sphero, an app-controlled robot ball. This fast-traveling robot ball can race ahead at up to 7 feet per second. It features a high impact polycarbonate shell to protect it as you play and explore. The Bluetooth capability keeps you connected at up to 100 feet with just your Android or iOS device. There are over 30 free apps that you can connect to in order to play games with your Sphero which turn your world into a thrilling virtual reality experience.  Use it to golf, race, escape zombies, and more! As more apps continue to be developed, the possibilities are essentially endless. Sphero 2.0 also comes with two ramps so you can create obstacle courses for your robotic ball, navigating them in competitions with friends. It is waterproof, so you can take your Sphero wherever you go. You can even play with it at night thanks to its bright glow, so you'll never lose it in the dark. You can change the color of the glow to your favorite in order to personalize your Sphero 2.0.

To get started with Sphero, simply download the Sphero app on your iOS or Android device, place in the charger, and double-tap to wake it up. Connect to Bluetooth and calibrate it. The internal gyro and accelerometer help with navigation and control. You'll become more confident with maneuvering your Sphero at higher speeds as you continue to play with it. Additionally, you'll "level up" and earn higher speeds and colors by accomplishing certain tricks in the Level-Up mode. It can hold its charge while traveling at top speed for 60 minutes or, and then you'll get an alert for recharging. Return to its base for induction charging.

Now what about programming? You can download SPRK lessons to learn coding skills. Technology and robotics are the future, and there is no better way to learn than by having fun at the same time.  Learn in three different ways that represent different levels. Draw paths (representing code) for your Sphero to follow. Then progress to dragging and dropping blocks in an intermediate coding system. Finally, learn actual JavaScript. Use apps like MacroLab and OrbBasic to play and learn at the same time.

 


Bottom Line

Reviewers were amazed when they didn't get bored with Sphero 2.0, originally thinking it would be just a novelty experience that would quickly wear off. Teachers love using it in class and report great results with getting kids interesting in learning. Some reviewers note that their pets enjoy chasing Sphero, though Sphero recommends not chewing on the Sphero 2.0 so keep an eye on them! The Sphero 2.0 is tough, fun, resistant, and surpasses expectations in imaginative learning and play.



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