A new robot is attempting to get crowdfunded. But it's not some random automated toy. It's a Sphero gadget aimed at kids and adults alike.
Sphero has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund production of a new robot. The Colorado-based connected toy company has had quite a bit of success designing phone-controlled robots and even once had a partnership with Disney and LucaFilm to re-create the R2-D2 and BB-8. So, it's slightly surprising to see the established company take to crowdfunding for its latest project.
Its new robot, called the RVR, is certainly a step up for some of Sphero’s earlier designs. It resembles a vehicle you could imagine astronauts hopping into on a distance planet. With that in mind, the RVR is capable of driving over most small objects. Sphero said it can handle rough surfaces and steep angles while in use. It's also absolutely packed full of sensors to help it on its travels.
The RVR will come with a colour sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, IR, and magnetometer. It also has a universal expansion port that is new to Sphero devices. This will allow the RVR to connect with accessories like a Raspberry Pi, a webcam, Arduino microcontrollers, and more for coding projects. The RVR is therefore designed with educational coding environments in mind.
This is more evident in the 4,000mAh battery, which can be swapped out, ensuring the RVR can run for six hours without a charge. That makes the RVR a lifesaver for tech teachers with students who regularly forget to plug devices when they’re finished with them. The RVR is capable of being programmed in many languages, including Java, Python, and Sphero’s Edu app.
Sphero plans to produce the RVR regardless of whether it meets its crowdfunding goal. Right now, you can get it for $199. Sphero said it will eventually sell the RVR for $249. It plans to begin shipping sometime this September.