A lot of consumers came to know Sphero over the last year because of its perfect recreation of BB-8 following the release of The Force Awakens. However, it’s been cranking out hits for awhile. The latest of which is a new take on its popular SPRK robot. This upgraded model, dubbed the SPRK+, has been redesigned with a tougher shell and more advanced Bluetooth technologies making it appealing to all ages. More below.

This release was also driven by intense curiosity from schools, especially STEM programs. With news of Apple’s Swift Playground at last week’s WWDC event, interest in coding is at an all-time high. SPRK+ is designed to be used in tandem with popular coding programs like Lightning Lab.  This allows students to program a variety of actions and see Sphero’s little robot carry it out in real-time.

A number of features have been carried over from the first generation SPRK, including inductive charging and a waterproof shell. The built-in accelerometer and gyroscope provide guidance/feedback when programmed to carry out certain actions. It also has one-touch Bluetooth pairing, which Sphero hopes will make its tiny creation all the more user-friendly for students.

SPRK LAHR-5345

David Millage, GM of Education at Sphero explains the connection between the brand and schools further:

“If it’s a SPRK day, it’s without a doubt the best day of school for any student. SPRK+ and Lightning Lab teach students valuable skills for the future under the disguise of play. Learning is evolving and we are seeing a transition from consumption to creation in the classroom. 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.”

The Sphero SPRK+ is available for purchase today for $129.99 shipped.

More New Toy of the Day:

Sphero’s Newest ‘Bot Proves Learning is Evolving. Get on the Ball.

BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sphero announced today the worldwide launch of their new SPRK+™ robot. Designed to inspire curiosity, creativity, and invention through connected play and coding, SPRK+ is far more than just a ball. Powered by the Lightning Lab™ app, users can learn programming, complete hands-on activities, and share their creations with the global community.

“Learning is evolving and we are seeing a transition from consumption to creation in the classroom. 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.”

SPRK+, in conjunction with the Lightning Lab app, is designed to teach foundational programming through STEAM activities. Both the robot and app experience promote 21st century skills through the wonders of robotics across all subject areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts one million more computer-science jobs than students by 2020 – making learning tools like SPRK+ crucial to today’s curriculum. Today, Sphero’s SPRK products can be found in more than 1,000 schools throughout the US and Canada, reaching more than 300,000 students.

A year ago, Sphero went full STEAM ahead into the education realm with the release of Sphero SPRK™ Edition. The new and improved SPRK+ takes hands-on learning up a notch with updates including:

  • Tap To Connect: Equipped with Bluetooth SMART, the new tap-to-connect feature increases the ease of use specifically for teachers in the classroom.
  • Scratch-Resistant Shell: An additional coating on the outside of the ball makes for a more scratch-resistant exterior, while keeping the integrity of the see-through shell.

Additional SPRK+ features include:

  • Inductive charging
  • Accelerometer and Gyroscope
  • Shock resistant
  • Programmable sensors
  • Polycarbonate shell
  • LED lights
  • Waterproof

“If it’s a SPRK day, it’s without a doubt the best day of school for any student. SPRK+ and Lightning Lab teach students valuable skills for the future under the disguise of play,” said David Millage, General Manager of Education at Sphero. “Learning is evolving and we are seeing a transition from consumption to creation in the classroom. 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.”

Additionally, a new and improved version of the SPRK Lightning Lab app is available for smart devices and desktop browsers. Featuring over 150 new hands-on learning activities and an improved programming canvas, coding SPRK+ robots is easier and more rewarding than ever. Programmable sensors and sounds bring a fun new dimension to coding, and a news feed feature will highlight trending content, comments and contributions. These improvements make Lightning Lab a more streamlined experience between mobile and desktop, as well as becoming an even easier social learning platform for anyone to enjoy.

SPRK+ is now available on www.sphero.com for $129 USD. For a full list of retailers, please visit:http://www.sphero.com/retail-partners.

The Lightning Lab app is free and is available for download for iOS devices, Android phones and tablets, and Amazon Fire devices.

For additional assets please visit brandfolder.com/sprkplus.

About Sphero Based in Boulder, CO, Sphero fuses physical, digital, and entertainment experiences to unlock the true potential of play and inspire tomorrow’s creators. Sphero was founded by Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson after completing Boulder Techstars in 2010. We’re now available in 80+ countries around the globe and have sold more than one million robots to date… and counting. We’re here to rattle cages, ruffle feathers, and reinvent entertainment… all for the sake of inspiration and creation. It’s time to defy convention and change the way the world thinks about play.

Sphero, the Sphero logo, SPRK, SPRK + and Lightning Lab are trademarks of Sphero. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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