This morning, Sphero introduced its latest smartphone-powered robot dubbed the BOLT. Laden with various sensors and LEDs, this model arrives with a familiar spherical design as seen on the previously released Mini. Sphero drops the colored casing for a clear look inside at all of the BOLT’s tech. More below.
Like the rest of Sphero’s lineup, BOLT arrives with the usual batch of app-controlled features. It plays nicely with the brand’s Edu app that brings a host of coding and STEM-focused features. The sphere weighs in at 200g and has a total diameter of 73mm. That’s nearly twice as big as the aforementioned Mini, making this the biggest spherical release from Sphero to date.
One of the defining features of the BOLT is its ambient light sensor and built-in programmable LED display. I’m keen on checking out BOLT in Pac-Man mode, when multiple spheres can be made to chase each other around, bringing the arcade game to real life. The light sensor can be leveraged to make BOLT pull off any number of tricks. Want it to put on a dance show? BOLT will scurry to the nearest bit of light and boogie on down. Sphero also includes a nifty add-on that turns its latest release into a compass with cardinal directions, serving as a funny walk-about GPS of sorts.
Obviously, BOLT is a natural fit in STEM-based classrooms and learning environments. It’s compatible with the usual host of iOS and Android devices, but also works with Mac, Windows and Chromebooks. This opens it up to just about any user across a variety of platforms, which is perfect for education settings.
BOLT comes in at a $100 markup over the smaller Mini, but it does deliver a handful of upgrades. This includes an extended Bluetooth range of 100-feet and a waterproof design. Sphero is also including a charging cradle with purchase, along with a smattering of stickers and the compass add-on mentioned above.
The new Sphero BOLT will be in retail stores starting today for $150 with Amazon availability expected to follow shortly.
Sphero Strikes Again with Its Most Advanced Robot to Date, Sphero BOLT
BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sphero, the leader in Connected Play, announced today the launch of its latest app-enabled robotic ball, Sphero BOLT. Building upon the company’s suite of products rooted in a commitment to education, Sphero BOLT’s capabilities empower users to dive deeper into the world of STEAM learning. In addition to the robot itself, Sphero BOLT is accompanied by the Sphero Edu app. The app provides educators, parents, and kids alike with an ecosystem to share curriculum, projects, and learnings with ease, furthering Sphero’s mission to educate consumers through the act of play.
Sphero BOLT introduces five new features that enable even more creative learning and gameplay:
- An animated and programmable 8×8 LED matrix that displays real-time data and graphics
- Infrared sensors that make way for BOLT-to-BOLT communication, new games, and advanced movements
- New Auto-Aim feature, making it easier for users to ready their BOLT through a built-in compass
- An ambient light sensor that offers new learning opportunities through light and brightness
- Extended battery life, enabling more than two hours of continuous play
“With BOLT, we’ve created an experience scaleable for all ages that embraces the knowledge that play is a powerful teacher,” says Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero. “Our goal for this product, as well as all future Sphero products, is to provide consumers with an opportunity to learn while having fun.”
Sphero BOLT retails for $149.99 and is available now on Sphero.com and at select retailers later this month. Sphero BOLT is also available in two classroom packs; a charging case called the “BOLT Power Pack” for $2499.99, and the “BOLT 15 Pack” for $1949.99, both of which include 15 robots and accessories designed to make it easy to bring Sphero BOLT into any school or maker environment.
Sphero BOLT comes to life through the existing Sphero Edu app for learning and coding on iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows, and Chrome, as well as the new Sphero Play app for unique drive modes and games on iOS and Android.
To learn more and to purchase Sphero BOLT, visit Sphero.com/BOLT or follow Sphero on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Founded in 2010 and based in Boulder, CO, Sphero’s ongoing mission is to inspire tomorrow’s creators. We’re available in 80+ countries around the globe and have sold more than three million robots to date… and counting. Touted as “the best day of school” for kids, we aim to be all that and more as we continue to explore new technologies in the realm of creative play. We firmly believe that play is a powerful teacher, and as long as we’re sparking imaginations around the world, we’ll keep fueling that fire.