Sphero

  • Sphero’s new Star Wars toys include R2-D2 and a new droid from ‘The Last Jedi’

    Star Wars and Sphero were a match made in heaven. The company had spent a few years in relative startup obscurity when Disney came along with the design for a new droid. The resulting BB-8 remote control device changed the company’s fortunes overnight. With The Last Jedi a few months away, the companies are looking to recapture the magic with another brand new, spherical droid and the… Read More

  • Disney puts a new spin on its accelerator

    Disney puts a new spin on its accelerator

    Over the past few years, Disney’s accelerator classes have been transitioning away from what was once a roughly standard early-stage growth framework. Rather than the “adopt-a-company” models prevalent among most accelerators, it has been leaning hard into how it can create mutually beneficial relationships with companies that run the gamut from well-established to really… Read More

  • Sphero spinoff Misty Robotics gets $11.5 million to create a mainstream robot for the home

    Sphero spinoff Misty Robotics gets $11.5 million to create a mainstream robot for the home

    Hardware startup Misty Robotics has a daunting task ahead of it. The Boulder-based company is working on a robot aimed at mainstream consumers for employment in the home and office. But Misty certainly has a solid foundation, as a spinoff of robotic toy maker Sphero, coupled with an $11.5 million Series A led by Venrock and Foundry Group. The new company employs about half a dozen former… Read More

  • Sphero’s new toy is a chatty Spider-Man

    Sphero continues its partnership with Disney today, with the launch of a new toy based on the Marvel superhero Spider-Man. But where BB-8 and Lightning McQueen could move around the room, Spider-Man is more stationary — his real power involves holding conversations. The simplest thing this Spider-Man can do is tell jokes — he seems to have an infinite simply of eye-rollers. If you… Read More

  • Robotic toymaker Sphero unveils Ultimate Lightning McQueen — a chatty, smartphone-controlled car

    While Sphero has released a whole lineup of robotic, Internet-connected toys, it remains best-known for its BB-8 droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Today it’s launching its next Disney tie-in — Ultimate Lightning McQueen. This is a car that you can control from your iPhone or Android, based on the Owen Wilson-voiced character from Pixar’s Cars franchise. (Cars 3 is… Read More

  • Sphero’s BB-8 wearable brings Force control to home automation with IFTTT support

    Sphero’s BB-8 wearable brings Force control to home automation with IFTTT support

    Sphero’s BB-8 was the most memorable bit of merchandizing among last year’s epic Force Awakens merchandising bonanza. It was the perfect piece of synergy – leveraging the hardware startup’s compelling piece of remote control technology to bring to life the film’s most marketable creation. This year the company looked to take things a step further with the addition… Read More

  • Taking Sphero’s BB-8 Force Band for a spin

    Sphero’s BB-8 was arguably the most compelling bit of merchandising, which is, naturally, saying a lot. The latest Star Wars film was, as anticipated, a merch juggernaut, but there was no better bit of serendipity than a startup smartphone-controlled toy maker and the movie’s scene stealing droid. How does one go about improving up such a glorious bit of cross over marketing? Use… Read More

  • Walt Disney Co. reveals 9 new startups in the Disney Accelerator spanning robotics, cinematic VR and AI

    Walt Disney Co. reveals 9 new startups in the Disney Accelerator spanning robotics, cinematic VR and AI

    The Walt Disney Co. is kicking off the third session of its corporate accelerator this week, and revealed 9 new companies admitted to the program. A full list follows at the end of this post. The companies are developing everything from cinematic virtual reality and holographic content, to robots with human-like facial expressions. Because alumni of the Disney Accelerator have scored big… Read More

  • Apple launches coding camps for kids in its retail stores

    Apple launches coding camps for kids in its retail stores

    Apple this summer is expanding its lineup of Apple Camp sessions to include a new course that teaches children the basics of coding. Aimed at children ages 8 through 12, the new 3-day session will use software from Tynker to introduce concepts of block-based coding and will allow kids to program Sphero robots. These classes will be small – capped at around a dozen attendees –… Read More