Many parents want to teach their children how to code, but do not know how to go about doing it. Sphero, the company behind the BB-8 toy robot based on the droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has released the Sphero SPRK and its corresponding app. The toy robot is intended to inspire a love of robotics, coding, and STEM principles while teaching the power of cause, effect, and conditions in programming.
Students can learn and program a variety of concepts through the Lightning Lab app. The Sphero SPRK can navigate a maze, program a painting, mimic the solar system, and even swim across water. Sphero used its own C-based coding language called OVAL. The Lightning Lab app also enables users to communicate, collaborate, and share with other users around the globe.
Chief Commercial Officer Rob Maigret remarked, “Driven by SPRK’s success and statistics citing a growing need for coding skills, we knew it was time to take the next step with this robot. SPRK is for the makers, hackers, and dreamers of the future... for those who would rather learn by doing, not by watching”.
The Sphero SPRK can go up to 4.5 mph (2m/s), has a durable UV coated polycarbonate shell and includes a built-in LED light. It includes a 100 foot (30.48m) bluetooth range, app and firmware updates that introduce new features, and one hour of full charge. In their boxes customers will also receive an inductive charging base with USB charging cable, Maze tape, a 360 degree protractor, a sticker sheet, and a Quick Start guide.
The Sphero SPRK retails for $129.99 USD at the company's website. Customers in the United States will also receive free shipping. The Lightning Lab app is available in the App Store for iOS devices and Play Store for Android phones and tablets.