Thursday, November 6, 2014

What is Sphero?

Sphero is a robot, smart toy, game system that features multiplayer fun, hand held play, precision driving and augmented reality.  It can be used in a computer science or STEM class in an elementary, middle or high school classrooms using SPRK lessons, (Schools Parents Robots Kids). Sphero gives children the opportunity to program or code in a fun and inviting environment.  

To get started using Sphero, you must download the app for your mobile device to be able to control the robot.  Visit the iTunes or Play store for more information on the FREE app.  After the app is downloaded, be sure bluetooth is turned on for your device and that any previous bluetooth device is unpaired.. 

Next, plug in the base and put the heavy part of Sphero into the base. Once Sphero is out of the charger, you must wake it up by tapping it twice with your fingers. Sphero will blink a 3 color combination, this is the name of the Bluetooth connection. Once it is paired with your mobile device, you are ready to experiment with it.  The picture below displays Sphero paired with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablet.  Sphero was also paired with an iPhone 5S smartphone.

This interactive toy will allow your students to drive the robot, change its color, perform tricks, and play games.  Every time you reach a milestone, Sphero provides rewards and unlocks tricks, such as turbo mode.  

I have two teen age sons, 16 yrs old and 19 yrs old, and they both downloaded the Sphero app and experimented with Sphero for a while.  They both were engaged and quickly adapted to the robot. They were able to teach me about it, demonstrate different tricks, and explain the control panel on the mobile device for the robot.  

Right now I am in the learning stages of this smart toy.  I will be using this robot with 6th grade students at the +William Davies Middle School in STEM class during the month of December to promote computer science and computer programming.  I am looking forward to learning more about Sphero.  Stay tuned for my follow up post!

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