The Sphero SPRK Edition is Orbotix’s bid to help children learn how to code.
In many ways, this is the same toy that the company already released with the Sphero 2.0. It features a top speed of 7.2 kph, a 30M operating range and a 60 minute drive time. Where it does differ is in its construction. The outer shell is made of a clear polycarbonate that allows one to see the toy’s inner workings. Presumably this is to help inspire a bit curiosity within a kid.
More importantly, it ships with a new Android and iOS app that allows children to program the toy’s behaviour.
Using OVAL, the programming language Orbotix developed for the toy, children can alter elements like the speed at which the ball travels at while moving about. The app uses a drag and drop interface so as to not make things too complicated, but it’s possible to see the programming that made a particular action possible. Reorienting a smartphone or tablet running the app on its side allows one to drive the toy normally.
In the United States, Sphero SPRK Edition is available for $130. According to Engadget, the toy will soon be available in Canada and other countries.