Sphero has introduced SPRK+, which is an update on the SPRK robot ball introduced in 2015 geared towards robotics education and boosting kids’ interest in the space. Sphero has also updated its Lightning Lab app that allows students and teachers to create and share programs.
The two major upgrades on the SPRK+ robot ball include: 1) A more scratch-resistant outer shell to protect the toy and still allow the kids to see inside the ball to see how everything works and 2) An easier way to sync the ball to a phone or tablet (compatible with Android, Amazon Fire, iOS) by simply tapping the two together.
As for the Lightning Lab app, Sphero has added new programmable beep and boop sounds for another fun dimension of coding. There’s now also a news feed in the Lightning Lab app that highlights trending content, comments and contributions.
Some activities with Sphero include actual step-by-step coding with a drag-and-drop interface, while others involve thinking how to creatively use the Sphero’s motions. The waterproof Sphero SPRK+ also includes, inductive charging, an accelerometer and gyroscope, programmable senors and LED lights.
Sphero Lightning Lab App
“Learning is evolving and we are seeing a transition from consumption to creation in the classroom,” said David Millage, General Manager of Education at Sphero. “Our robots are being used to teach everything from art to physics in a fun and hands-on way that engage students on a new level.”
A year ago, Sphero dove head first into the education market with its Sphero SPRK Edition. Not a bad move considering the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts one million more computer-science jobs than students by 2020. Sphero has already made its way in over 1,000 schools throughout the United States and Canada, reaching more than 300,000 students.
The Sphero SPRK+ robot ball is now available for $129.