Sphero SPRK Edition: Remote controlled ball with robotics
Do you remember Sphero, the water- and fire-proof remote controlled robot disguised as a ball that also couples as a remote control? Version 2.0 was such a success, Orbotix, its creator, decided to fold together the estranged edges of fun and education.
With its current skill set Sphero is already a very durable, agile and resourceful toy which you can control with your iOS or Android phone. The AR applications and games designed for Sphero are so versatile it’s almost impossible to get bored. But apparently for its creators it has many more skillsunder its sleeve it is just unfair to leave it as it is, so they developed the SPRK program and the Sphero SPRK Edition to go with it.
SPRK started as a local group where kids were taught how to code. One year later a series of free lessons were launched to show both students and teachers what is possible with Sphero. The lessons are also fun and offer challenges for each skill level, but as starters the Sphero SPRK Edition’s box includes a brief, basic tutorial along with some measuring tools such as a protractor, three numbered cutout tabs, to help in coding (and of course as usual charger and cables). This version of Sphero has a clear poly-carbon shell instead of the white one in version 2.0, in order for you to see what is going on inside the electronics as you give your commands. As soon as you install the app and pair Sphero SPRK with your smart device over Bluetooth, you’re ready to roll.
The SPRK app lets you give your robot orders (in OVAL, a C-based language) with visual blocks representing code. Inside the app are samples you can explore before diving into the world of coding if you are a total stranger. Commands are as simple as roll, spin, flip, color change, delay etc with relative parameters. If you want, you can see the actual text-based version of your code and fine-tune your programming. Sphero can also react to your commands in real time, so you can immediately see the outcome. The app is simple enough for beginners and sophisticated too, for seasoned coders. This helps the SPRK community grow rapidly on every level. When you’re bored of programming, just rotate your mobile device and start playing with it the old-fashion way. If you want to see what other users are creating, you can tap on the Community tab in the app. SPRK is acronym for “schools, parents, robots, kids”. Sphero SPRK fully supports STEM learning principles.
Sphero SPRK is compatible with accessories such as the Chariot and the Nubby or Turbo Cover as well as all the apps and programs created for the earlier version, that means you have more than a dozen games to play.