Saturday, 30 September 2017

Sphero Mini - The New Small Programmable Ball


The Sphero Mini is a new programmable robotic ball from the makers of the original Sphero. The mini comes in a range of bright colours which means it will appeal to girls as well as boys (thank you Sphero!)

The Sphero Mini is the size of a ping pong ball and like the bigger Spheros can be controlled from a connected app and also programmed with Sphero EDU.


Features

The Sphero Mini is USB chargeable, offering around an hour of play from a full charge.

The recommended price is $49.99 which makes this a pretty affordable robot for families and schools.

It comes in a range of bright, fruity colours which we absolutely love. There will also be interchangeable shells to change the look.

The apps are available for iOS and Android. You can play games using the mini as a games controller and control it in various ways from the app, there's also a feature for controlling the Mini using facial expressions!

Of course, we're also interested in the coding side and the Mini is programmable from Sphero EDU with the focus being on JavaScript coding.

Sphero Mini vs SPRK+ etc

So how is Sphero Mini different to the other Spheros in the range, other than the obvious size difference?

Well the other important different is that the mini has a mini price of $49.99 (compared with $129.99 for the SPRK+.)

Well it's not a sealed unit with inductive charging like it's older sibling, the mini opens up and uses USB charging. 

The mini can't go quite as fast as the larger Sphero (this might come as a relief to anyone who has had a larger Sphero bashing into their furniture!)

While the mini supports programming via the Sphero EDU app, there's no mention of programming with Apple's Swift Playground as yet. 

The mini also comes with mini-sized accessories: bowling pins and traffic cones. 

Verdict


The Sphero Mini gets the Tech Age Kids seal of approval. It's fun, programmable, portable and affordable. 

We really appreciate the range of colours and gender-neutral appeal. (We do complain a lot about most robots being blue and Sphero Mini is going onto our list of programmable robots for girls.)

Just one tip. It's small. Don't lose it. Seriously, make sure kids have a specific place to store it which they always return it to. 




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