~I received a Sphero 2.0 for the purpose of reviewing. Opinions and stories are my own. I am also completely hooked on him!~
I was so excited to get a chance to review Sphero 2.0 with my family! I’d never seen anything like it before and the idea of a robot ball that could do everything from rave dance to fighting zombies was incredible! Then our Sphero 2.0 arrived and we named him Simon after the iconic game from 1978.
He may look like just a ball with a cute little face, but he is so much more. Sphero 2.0 is the world’s first app-controlled robotic ball and gaming system for kids (and yes big kids!) 8+. Powered with AI Superdrive capabilities, he’s extremely speedy and can race up to 7ft a second! He’s been completely optimized for performance, has an incredible display of multicolored LED lights, connects wirelessly to multiple virtual worlds, is water proof and pet proof! If that wasn’t enough, you can also program him!
It’s hard to narrow down the wide universe of what Sphero 2.0 is capable of. There are honestly endless ways to engage and play with it. To start off there are 30 Free Apps & Games that kids can play independently or with family. So far we’ve tested out:
- Draw n’ Drive: Create roads for Sphero to drive on. You can even make him change colors on the path.
- The Rolling Dead: Have Sphero fight off hordes of Zombies in your home! (Augmented Reality Game)
- Sphero Pet: Make Sphero the ultimate Pet Toy. You can even choose between Cat or Dog themes.
- Sphero Exile: Sphero arcade style fighter game. Love the classics!
- MacroLab: Create your own Easy Programs and Macros for your Sphero. A great S.T.E.M. app for learners!
- SpheroCam: A built in camera to record videos and images!
The one that really amazed us was the augmented reality game The Rolling Dead. To see little Zombies running around our house on the screen was so funny. It was the perfect game for my Teen who absolutely loves Zombies and to see my Tot try to find them in the house while chasing after Sphero had us all laughing. It leveled the playing field for our family with game night and gave us all something we could really enjoy.
We also figured out many ways we could play with Sphero 2.0 on our own. We set up Tot’s big blocks as buildings and used him as a wrecking ball. Teen created obstacle courses utilizing the ramps that come with him inside/outside and he makes a great bridge to meeting new friends no matter where you go. Which for my kids, means a lot.
You can also have your child visit the Sphero S.P.R.K (Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids) program on GoSphero Education page, designed to make learning fun and inspire innovators in the new generations. Orbotix believes that Play can be a powerful teacher for children and through the SPRK lessons will teach kids the basic concepts of programming, robotics, and math. Your child can start by downloading the Plug & Play Lessons. These are:
- Introduction to Sphero
- MacroLab Lesson: Rate & Time
- MacroLab Lesson: 2D Geometry
- MacroLab Lesson: Percentages
- OrbBasic Lesson: Programming Level 1
- OrbBasic Lesson: Programming Level 2
From there they’ll download Apps that they need (OrbBasic & MacroLab). All they need is a Sphero 2.0 and the desire to learn. There is also a Community Forum to ask questions, Education Meetups and other tools to help them on their way.
When it is heavily important to teach our children S.T.E.M related educational tools (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), Sphero 2.0 couldn’t have come at a better time. GoSphero Education shares with teachers the tools on how to create success with Sphero in the classroom from Elementary to College. Here are some of their tips!
- Percentages – mixing colors at different levels to change the color Sphero glows.
- Simple Geometry and Angles – make Sphero drive a square, pentagon, or rectangle to recreate learned shapes.
- Fractions – provide a specific fraction and have the students calculate how to adjust Sphero to get the exact color.
- Math operations – command Sphero to drive in a square, then use a multiplier or divisor to double or halve the square size.
- Logic – command Sphero to preform a sequence of steps to navigate a course.
- Algebraic Word Problems – use Sphero to bring word problems to life. Example: two Spheros traveling in a straight line. One is at 50% the speed of the other. How long until one overtakes the other?
- Logic – conditional statements manifested in the real world. If Sphero hits a wall, then drive in the opposite direction.
- Measurement – time Sphero with a stopwatch as he drives across the room and calculate size of the room.
- Pythagorean Theorem – program Sphero to drive a right triangle.
- Probability – use Sphero to blink certain colors randomly at a specified rate to probabilistically determine the number of time “red” will blink in a given amount of time.
- Intro to programming – learn programming using orbBasic: variables, conditional statements, subroutines, syntax.
- Formula Derivation – program Sphero to calculate prime numbers.
- Physics lab – drop Sphero from varying heights and read the accelerometer output to determine results.
- Geometry – write a program to dynamically drive different sized triangles based on initial input.
- Algebra – word problems that use Spheros at different speed, colors, times or angles and perform tests in real world.
You can read about more tips and also how to purchase a Sphero Education Pack for classrooms (or homeschools) by visiting the Education Details page.
This is the best toy I’ve ever had the opportunity to review and one of the best educational tools for the kids as well as family entertainment. I can honestly say that Sphero 2.0 goes beyond expectations and that your family will find more and more ways to enjoy it the longer you have one.
Get out this summer and go have a ball!