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Sphero: Robotic Balls For Smartphones

By Lisa Carlin

 

Sphero is a white ball. It is also the world’s first mass market robotic ball that can be controlled from your smartphone (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android). And oh, it is not really white. You can configure its color, and keep changing shades.

Sphero comes with six apps out of the box, and a open API incase you want to build your own thing. The apps include Sphero Golf, the Sphero Cam, and the Sphero Draw N’ Drive where you can use your finger to trace a path on the screen and Sphero follows the zigs and the zags. For a complete list of specs see this.

Sphero is a product of Orbotix, founded by Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson, both graduates of the Boulder TechStars business acceleration program.  They combined proprietary internal robotics with specialized control software in 2010 to come up with the robotic ball. Orbotix then developed several prototypes and showed them at numerous shows around the country, and also completed two rounds of financing in the process to start commercial development.

Sphero costs $129.99 and is available for pre-order from the Sphero website. These balls are currently available in the US only. International orders will open next year.

 

(Lisa Carlin writes on gadgets and geeky things for techtaffy.com. She can be reached at [email protected])

 

 

 

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