After reading about the Sphero robotic ball on various gadget blogs, I decided to finally get one for myself. I picked up the new Sphero 2.0 just before Christmas and it’s been a lot of fun. This slick looking bot-ball is about the size of a baseball and is controlled via Bluetooth from your smartphone or tablet.
Once you’ve downloaded the free apps you’re ready to take this thing for a spin…and can it spin! According to the official website, Sphero 2.0 can move at approximately 7 feet per second. It reminds me of the remote control car I had as a kid except faster and harder to control. Fortunately the speed is variable so you can take it easy as you get the feel of the controls. The version I got has the clear swooshes so you can check out the robotics inside….
…which is really cool! However, this version doesn’t come with the protective rubber cover so, unless you have carpet, you’ll get a lot of scratches. It’s definitely worth picking up the Nubby cover.
There are a ton of apps for the Sphero and most of them are for free. There are basic driving apps, drawing and color games as well as zombie and space games. There’s even a Sphero golf game. If you have friends with their own, you also play a game of robot ball tag. The ball can change to thousands of different colors so I find it’s great just to have it on your desk glowing like a hi-tech lava lamp.
The ball is pretty sturdy so it can take short falls and splash through water. It also makes a great toy for your pet. I’ll bring it out for a spin when the weather is lousy outside and Relic needs some “activity”. He’ll catch it in his mouth and then when he drops it I’ll start it off again. He can catch it faster than I can drive (or steer) so it might work better with a smaller dog. I think cat owners would love this. The ability to zig zag it around and change colors…be like a laser pointer mechanical mouse all in one!
All in all, good fun! They have a new device coming out in the Fall which looks great as well.
How come they didn’t have stuff like this when I was a kid?! …Get off my lawn! Bah!