Sphero

Orbotix gets kids into robots with Ollie and SPRK

We've jokingly referred to the robotic toys made by Orbotix as the world's best cat toys, but the truth is there's a ton that can be done with these little rolling robots. Sphero has a huge third party following with dozens of apps that let you do everything from roll your ball in an augmented reality maze through the camera on your phone to picking the ball up and using it as a controller for games on your phone. Ollie, their brand new robot, is a little more focused on fun by offering more speed and some fun optimizations. If driving these robots around and chasing your cat aren't enough to get your attention, the Orbotix SPRK (that's Schools Parents Robots Kids) program should be all the push you need. It's a program Orbotix started to help kids learn the basics of robotics and programming, and so far it has been a huge success in the classroom.

Allen Richardson from Orbotic gives Cali and Rene the breakdown on what SPRK has been up to so far, as well as repeatedly shooting the robots off the desk during the video. Either way, it's worth a watch.

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Ollie is like a Sphero on steroids and it's now available for pre-order

If you're a fan of rolling around your house with Sphero, then it may be time to kick things up a bit with the new kid in town, Ollie. Think of Ollie as a bigger, bolder Sphero. Ready to roll faster, jump higher, and do much cooler tricks. The $99 Ollie is available now for preorder and begins shipping September 15th.

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Sphero 2.0 robot ball is $30 off to celebrate National Robotics Week

Today is the last day of Sphero's National Robotics Week sale, where you can get a Sphero 2.0 for $30 off. Normally $129.99, the discount brings the robotic ball that you can control with your iPhone or Android device down to $99.99. That's still a little pricey for what is essentially a toy, but it's a fancy robotic one. In addition being able to roll around at speeds of up to 7 feet per second, the Sphero 2.0 also contains a set of multi-color LEDs that you can light up and control. And by including inductive charging, Sphero is even waterproof.

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#CESlive: Checking out the Sphero 2B and its latest tricks

Sphero has made a name for itself with their small round Bluetooth controlled ball that was oddly fun to play around with. While the original design was a ton of fun the company wanted to bring something completely new to the table, and this time something that you could customize.

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Checking out Sphero 2B at #CESLive, an iPad-controlled racing robot

Sphero, the guys who are best known for their globular iOS-controlled toy, have announced at CES 2014 that they're expanding their lineup with a new two-wheel model, complete with Bluetooth low-energy connectivity and sensors to enable gaming and racing. Separate Bluetooth markers can set waypoints for a race, and the infrared sensors allow Sphero 2Bs to battle one another. Tinkerers will even be able to dive into the programming options for the Sphero 2B. We'll be seeing the Sphero 2B on store shelves in fall 2014 with a pricetag of $99 or less.

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President Obama tries out Sphero, the iPhone controlled rolling robot

During a visit to Boulder, Colorado and Colorado University, U.S. President Barack Obama had the chance to test drive a Sphero -- an iPhone controlled rolling robot. Obama first watches the Sphero roll around, remarking "how cool is that, you can make the ball do all kinds of stuff", before taking the iPhone and taking control of the robot himself. Surrounded by Secret Service -- and co-eds -- the President of the United States gave it a whirl, seemed to enjoy himself, and complimented the inventor, a Boulder native.

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Sphero iPhone, iPad controlled robot - TiPb at CES 2011

Sphero by Orbotix is a robotic ball you can control with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. You can swipe, you can use the gyro and accelerometer, and since they've opened up the API developers can create pretty much any games they can think of.

Availability is later this year. Fun factor is high. We just hope they don't become self-aware too quickly...

[Orbotix]

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