Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Sphero launches Sphero Gallop, a mild-up robotic ball for education

Sphero launches Sphero Gallop, a mild-up robotic ball for education

Sphero has announced a new rolling ball robot called the Sphero Bolt as their next innovation of education-based products that are created to help kids get into the tech industry. It features an 8 x 8 LED matrix in the center than animates in real time.

Sphero also equipped the Bolt with an ambient lighting sensor you can use for your arsenal of tricks.

As educational as the toy is, you can also use it just to play around and it can be easily maneuvered via the Sphero Play app. Via the Sphero Edu app, the robot can be programmed to show any icon you want. It's a robotic sphere, packed with electronics that, at its most basic, allows it to act as a remote control toy, scuttling at speed around the floor. It also works with the Sphero Play iOS and Android app, which offers fun driving modes and games.

The Sphero BOLT retails for $249.99 and is available now at JB Hi-Fi, Apple, Amazon, National Geographic, and Officeworks. The app provides educators, parents, and kids alike with an ecosystem to share curriculum, projects, and learnings easily, furthering Sphero's mission to educate consumers through the act of play. Like previous Sphero products, the Bolt is water resistant and reasonably robust, so it can take a fair bit of abuse as it veers around the floor. The new Sphero Bolt looks similar to the Sprk+, but it has received many upgrades.

The app doesn't leave kids entirely on their own to craft games, however, as it can also be used to download community-created activities. With the new inputs and outputs, now you can make anything. The sensors allow multiple Bolt robots to communicate with each other, enabling robot-to-robot interactions. The battery life now enables over two hours of continuous play, one issue we had when we reviewed the Sphero Mini a year ago. As well as new features, you'll find a gyroscope, accelerometer and compass plus a pair of multicolour LEDs front and aft you can control, in addition to the robot's motors. Among those, Bolt is the most advanced and the most expensive, coming in at £150.

As a cool toy with an educational bent there's nothing that quite matches a Sphero and the Bolt is the best of this unique range of robotic educational assistants.

That favors well against the most recent, pricey Sphero toys, such as the Sphero BB-8 and Pixar's Cars' Lightning McQueen.

Sphero Bolt has double the battery life of Sprk+

. Cozmo can be more easily enjoyed as a traditional toy as well as offering coding instruction, but lacks the durability and deeper coding options of the Bolt.

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