Sphero, as the name implies, was a robotic sphere. Now Orbotix, the makers of this beloved ball, have decided to elongate the it into a tube (a cylinder, really), drop the price to $99, and make one of the funnest little toys I’ve ever seen. If the original Sphero was Eve, their new produce, 2B, is Wall-E. This scrappy device is twice as fast as the current version of the Sphero and will cost about $99 when it is released this Fall.
Orbotix cofounder Ian Bernstein said that Sphero was one of the first connected devices – a device that tethered to a smartphone. By expanding the original product while simplifying the design they think they’ll be able to get the 2B into more living rooms.
“2B looks and drives like it’s something from the future,” said Bernstein. The company will create accessories for 2B including nubby tires for outdoor play and a built-in IR sensor and light that will let you play tag with multiple 2Bs and race them from checkpoint to checkpoint.
We got the chance to play with the 2B at CES 2014 and I was definitely impressed – it looks to be a lot of fun.
The company also updated their app to support more features on the Sphero 2.0 and have announced Sphero Rangers, a school program to teach kids programming and geometry using the Sphero as sort of a real-life LOGO Turtle. The 2B will work with most of these new programming features.