Introduction to Robotics with Sphero


Do you have a child who is interested in robotics or programming? Sphero is the world’s first robotic ball that kids ages 8 and up can control using a smartphone or tablet! A special thank you to Sphero for providing us with our own Sphero and for sponsoring today’s playful learning post. Read on to see how you can enter for a chance to win a Sphero of your own too!! As soon as our Sphero arrived, my 10 year old could not wait to begin programming it to do all sorts of things! Sphero can roll in any direction, change colors, and turn on a dime. It can even “dance”!

Introduction to Robotics with Sphero

Introduction to Robotics and Programming

Sphero is very durable, pet-proof, and even waterproof! It can roll up to 7 feet per second, so it’s quite speedy. It’s a great hands-on way to introduce kids to programming, robotics, and math. You can learn more about Sphero’s educational initiatives through the Sphero SPRK (Schools, Parents, Robotics, Kids) program.

Together with the help of my husband, my 10 year old was able to access the Sphero SDK and easily modify some of the existing programs — great for understanding how the gyroscope works and how messages are being sent to the Sphero via Bluetooth. So many possibilities!

I was surprised to see such a wide selection of apps available for Sphero! Currently, there are over 30 free apps that kids can play either with friends or family or by themselves. My kids enjoyed guiding Sphero through a homemade obstacle course, unlocking new tricks, and there are even multi-player augmented reality video games to play that are great for family game night.

Here’s a short video of our Sphero (shown with the Nubby cover) in action:

What’s Included:

Each Sphero comes with a Quick Start guide, two ramps, a charging base, and information on how to download dozens of apps on iTunes and Google Play. Sphero is compatible with iOS and Android devices. You can find Sphero at GoSphero.com for $129.99.

Additional Accessories:

Protect your Sphero against the elements with custom Nubby Covers. Not only do Nubby Covers protect against scratches and scuffs, they also give you unbeatable traction. Nubby covers are available in four different colors. You can find Nubby Covers on GoSphero.com for $14.99

I love this video describing Sphero’s initiatives in the classroom and how Sphero is helping to engage future innovators to develop creative probelm-solving skills:

For More Information:

Get all the latest news and updates on Sphero at Twitter.com/GoSphero and Facebook.com/GoSphero

Disclosure: I was compensated and provided with a Sphero for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.

Now the FUN Part

One very lucky Inner Child Fun reader will win a Sphero (retail value $129.99) courtesy of Orbotix (the creators of Sphero)!! To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post telling us what you think you would love most about Sphero. Awesome, right?? This giveaway is open to US readers only and will close Monday, July 28th at 6:30pm EST. (See official giveaway rules.) Winner will be selected at random using a WordPress plug-in and notified via email.

Good luck!!

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Comments

  1. Leslie Wagner says:

    I love this- Thank you so much for sharing. I have a 10 year old boy who is very interested in robotics and programming and this would such a fun way for him to give it a try. He would be thrilled not only as he would be programming something but I would also be telling him, “Yes…go on the IPAD.”.

  2. Rachel Niles says:

    Incredible, inventive, imaginative play that would really have no end! What a confidence builder!

  3. Great post. I had heard about Sphero but it was wonderful to see if in action on your little video. What I love most about Sphero is that kids will have a great time playing around with it but they will be learning a lot at the same time. That is the best kind of learning in my book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  4. What a great introduction to robotics, path planning, and human-machine teaming!

  5. Jennifer Rogers says:

    I am an IT teacher and what I love most about Sphero is that is able to teach Basic coding to students with the macrolab app!

  6. Lynn Towill says:

    This is awesome. I love that it is like the logo turtle programming language of this decade!

  7. Melissa Foster says:

    My eight year old son would love guiding the Sphero through an obstacle course and my daughter would love making it change color and dance.

  8. My two boys would LOVE Sphero, modifying programs, watching it go through the obstacle course and so much more!

  9. We played with one of these last year. At the time, our 4-year old LOVED playing with “the eyeball”, as he called it. If we were to win it, I’m pretty sure at this point he would get it incorporated into his Lego play ASAP.

    As homeschoolers we would love being able to incorporate this into our curriculum. Oh so many opportunities for learning fun!

  10. Joseph Marlin says:

    I think it would be cool to get a few and create a choreographed dance with them. Then I could film it in the dark and it would be mesmerizing.

  11. This would be epic. My kiddos have a cousin who has been to the FIRST Robotic World Championships two years running, and my daughter especially was captivated when we got to watch his Super-Regional matches. I would love to encourage her in some STEM activities! Thanks for the chance!

  12. I think the thing that is most exciting would be the open ended learning opportunities Sphero offers, and seeing how she uses her own imagination for innovation…since I didn’t really answer the question above…oops!

  13. Nikolette says:

    Wow, that looks like fun! My kids would have a blast playing with it and they would be learning a new “language”. Love it!

  14. Sarah Tieszen says:

    My 4-year-old son has the mind of an engineer and would love exploring all of the things the Sphero can do. It would be so amazing watching him learn about robotics and all the different things that robots can do!

  15. As a teacher and the STEM club advisor at an elementary school, this would be a fabulous addition to our explorations of math, science, engineering, and programming!

  16. Wow! This is so cool! My son goes to a STEM school, and would love to explore with this!

  17. Laura J says:

    Oh this would be amazing for my autistic nephew! He doesnt talk, or eat…but is so smart! He loves anything computers…and would go nuts over this! I know he would love the homemade obstacle course! It would be so educational for him and stimulating!

  18. Angela See says:

    My 9 year old boy loves Robotics! We will love to win this!!!!

  19. This is awesome! I saw your last post about these and now I think I am hooked! I think my little tinkerer would go crazy over this!

  20. Kathy Burtram says:

    I would love to give this to my children’s charter school. My husband is teaching a robotics and programming class and this would be such a neat addition. This could
    Keep kids working while he is teaching another group. we may buy one even if we don’t win but winning would surely help an under funded school. Thanks for the read.

  21. Wow! What a wonderful giveaway! My 11 year old would love this — she’s take a few basic coding workshops and really loves having hands-on ways to work with code. I love that Sphero is something the kids can touch as they work with the code (it’s just not as cool when coding is ONLY on a computer screen :)

  22. Wow this would be awesome I have a 12 yr old and trying to figure out ways to incorporate
    Some robotics into our homeschool plan. A cool way to teach !

  23. My husband works on aircraft and has imparted his love of all things mechanical and engineering on our daughter, I’m sure they would have a BLAST together with something like this! I’m sure the best part for her would be making it light up and dance :)

  24. annabelle says:

    This is defiantly going the kids Christmas list. Thank you.

  25. I have been looking for a way to introduce my child to robotics, but most programs in our area are geared towards much older children or cost the same as a sphero for a 5 day program.
    this is a great way to be hands on and see how the immediate cause and effect.

  26. A great STEM activity for my daughter!