Every Friday, our team gets together to discuss the week’s activities, accomplishments, and random mishaps (karate fights and snake eating included). And whenever you get us in a group, swarms of Spheros are bound to be speeding around. But this past Friday, an orange went rolling by. And not just any orange, but an Orange-Sphero hybrid capable of wiggling and zooming around on the floor. This gave us the ultimate prank idea – attacking unsuspecting grocery shoppers with moving fruit.
Here is proof that the possibilities with Sphero are as limitless as your creativity, and that surprising people with Sphero will never get old.
Sphero is a sophisticated robot. It is also a clever, sneaky little ball that is perfect for all things April Fool’s (we might even go as far as to say it’s Sphero’s favorite holiday). Whether you prefer office pranks or surprising the family dog, Sphero is the perfect companion for your jokester ways this Sunday, April 1st. That’s why next week we will be having an April Fool’s video contest in place of our Free Sphero Giveaway.
Get out there, surprise and shock your friends, and be sure to record their responses (we suggest using SpheroCam or getting a buddy to videotape the hilarity). The deadline for entries is next Friday, April 6th, which gives you a whole week to get the antics rolling. Submit your entries via Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll pick the best prank of the bunch!
We decided to try our hand – and driving skills – at the local coffee shop (thank you Ozo Coffee for your good humor) and here are some of the best responses we saw.
To get a camera so close to the people, we used a GoPro sneakily placed inside a coffee sleeve. We also had another camera set up a few tables away for good measure.
Sphero driving a car?! Yes. Pretty awesome, right?
In the video below, Sphero commands the toy car where to drive. It does this through a trackball similar to the one used in a computer mouse or in the arcade game of golf . Sphero sits on the trackball’s wheels and his weight and momentum cause them to move. The wheels have encoders that then tell the car what direction Sphero is moving by sending out x and y coordinates of the movement to the motors. Roll Sphero forward and the car drives forward. Roll Sphero to the right and the car turns to the right.
Sphero’s car was created by our Junior Developer, Skylar. He got all of the electronics for the car from Sparkfun. This included a trackball, an Arduino board, and an H-bridge. The actual car was an old toy Orbotix had bought for $10. It only took a handful of parts and a tiny bit of coding in Arduino to make it happen. Sphero does the rest. The really amazing thing is that we are using Sphero’s brains and technology to create other robots!
After pre-orders officially opened last week, we received many questions from fans about Sphero’s durability. Here are the details you’ve all been waiting for.
Sphero is a sophisticated robot, capable of many things. He can be a race-car, a golf ball, and a friend. The possibilities are endless, and because of this, we have created Sphero to be quite durable. We’ve outfitted him in a high-impact polycarbonate shell to protect all of his technology, and have sealed him tight so that he can take a swim. Sure, Sphero may accidentally slip through your hand in an intense game of Chromo and crash on the floor. Sphero may even get the boot if he rolls under an unsuspecting foot during Draw N’ Drive. No worries, just don’t go driving him off the second story. As proud parents of this magical little ball, we’ll be the first to boast of his stellar ability to withstand the unexpected.
But keep in mind, Sphero is intended for low-impact adventure and fun. You should never abuse, kick, throw, hit, chew, crush, bounce, violently shake or excessively drop Sphero. These activities are meant for a soccer ball, not an advanced piece of technology. Take your smartphone for example; sure, it can withstand a few accidental drops, but the more you fumble it the more likely it is to break. Do not disassemble Sphero (he hates surgery), or expose to extreme environmental conditions (he likes a mild climate). And lastly, we do not recommend handing Sphero over to the wrath of children, even though it’s kind of cute. Here’s some footage of Sphero rolling with the punches, but don’t try this at home!
With Halloween just around the corner, we thought we’d let you know that even robots go to haunted houses. In true Halloween spirit, Sphero took a trip to an eerie graveyard where ghosts, ghouls, and dead electronics haunted the scene. There was fire, there was fog, there were Spheros in crazy Halloween costumes, and there was even a Roomba.
You might be wondering where Spheros get Halloween costumes. Well, they were made here by our very own team (OK fine, Adam made them all). As we’re beginning to see, the possibilities for Sphero-accessories are endless. Let’s just say a band of chariots, a motorcycle, and even a battle-cage are in the works. Once you get your own Sphero, feel free to get the ball rolling at home. Just don’t forget to show us what you come up with!