Bob the Pleo Forums

Robot Stuff => General Robotics => Topic started by: mweed on September 03, 2013, 10:10:45 AM

Title: Sphero
Post by: mweed on September 03, 2013, 10:10:45 AM
Went to the mall with the kids over the weekend and they got me a Sphero.  ( )  :moose:

Never heard of it before, and don't know of anyone who has.  They use the term "robot" a lot, and at first it just seemed like it's a high-tech toy, but once I started looking into it, it's actually got a lot to offer as a robot.  In a nutshell, it is a small plastic ball with a very compact set of computer chips, LEDs, and sensors that turn it into a remote-controlled toy.  It rolls around and you can steer it.  It uses a bluetooth connection, so the remote control is your smartphone/tablet.  On the surface, it seems gimmicky and nothing more than a fancy RC toy.  But unlike a RC car, bluetooth goes both ways, so the ball can send data back to you, which allows the ball to become a game controller.  And  because of this, they offer a couple of dozen apps that you can use to either control the ball to play games, or use the ball as an interactive controller to play the app.

But where it really got interesting to me is, they provide a whole suite of programming options.  They have the equivalent of MySkit where you can program in a sequence of actions and then have it re-play them.   They provide a program interface where you can write code to run on the main CPU inside the ball using a version of BASIC (which does have access to sensor data).  And for the hard-core programmer, they provide iOS and Android SDKs, as well as a full set of C# lbraries and SDKs for python, ruby, arduino, and java. 

It's not as warm and fuzzy ( . . . um, yeah, I know.  Pleos aren't fuzzy even though they do get rather warm . . . ) uh, cute and cuddly as a pleo, but it does have some redeeming robotic capabilities . . .
Title: Re: Sphero
Post by: RedwoodsMama on September 03, 2013, 02:36:50 PM
What nice kids, yes I saw this about a year ago, but did not pay much attention to it as I got a phone call and missed the rest of the video I was watching, Looks pretty interesting and has some great capabilities True, not soft or semi soft and cuddly as Pleo is, but no Robot is like Pleo! ;D I didn't see the price, but I can see myself playing with this, heck with a dog that loves balls and eight cats, great just for them, ONe big bonus, it's durability and the fact it can go in the water, NOW I LOVE THAT!

               Just added a long but good review of the whole robot,                second video. )Here is one of several youtube videos about it. Thanks Mike. :flowers:    RWM :cat-hug:
Title: Re: Sphero
Post by: barrettgazzy on September 03, 2013, 03:29:44 PM
 Will have to look into this 1 a bit more :-)
Title: Re: Sphero
Post by: kat on September 03, 2013, 05:35:32 PM
Well I checked it out and it looks cool.  I want one.  Looks like it might be a bit of a mission getting one in Australia though and almost twice the price :(  Will have to wait a couple of weeks till all my assignments are done then I'll spend some time researching to see if I can find it at a decent price.  Looks like so far it is only available online if your in Australia not yet in any stores that I can see.  Also looks like the 2.0 is the one to get as it seems they made some big improvements. 
Title: Re: Sphero
Post by: InmemoryofRomeo on September 05, 2013, 02:03:25 AM
I looked at those when they first came out, but I just feel they are too expensive to justify buying one.
Title: Re: Sphero
Post by: Talon on September 05, 2013, 12:48:09 PM
Ummmmm... okay? It's... interesting. Of all the forms consumer robotics could take, I never imagined a robotic sphere. Lol!
Title: Re: Sphero
Post by: kat on September 12, 2013, 05:18:45 PM
Would love to hear an update on this Mike.  Have you had much time to play with it since you got it?  Has the novelty worn off yet?  Have you played with the programming side yet at all?  Are any of the currently available apps really worth playing or are they a bit dull?  Do you have any video of your sphero doing anything cool? 

I'm interested but want to find out if it is really worth it before committing to a purchase as it is about $200 AU including shipping to get one here.  So I would love to hear updates from you about it to see what you think of it as time goes by.  :wise:
Title: Re: Sphero
Post by: mweed on September 12, 2013, 11:12:05 PM
I'll tr to get a video up this weekend of sphero running circles around pleo.  Haven't had a chance to play with the programming yet, so I can't really say.

But as far as worth, the big question is are you the type who enjoys playing with R/C vehicles?  Compared to a robot like pleo, aibo, or even furby . . . sphero has no personality at all.  If you enjoy the R/C type toys, sphero is amazing.  The games that you play with sphero in them add a very fun level on top of the basic RC stuff.  The games that use sphero as the game controller are a nice gimmick IF you already enjoy sphero, but otherwise are just adaptations of much cheaper toys.
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal