Sphero

  • 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

  • The Serious Business Of Play Crunch Network

    The Serious Business Of Play

    “The next big thing will start out looking like a toy.” At least according to A16Z partner Chris Dixon. He used the phrase to explain why incumbents often confuse new, disruptive threats to their businesses with trivial gimmicks. But what if the next big thing doesn’t just look like a toy, but actually is one? Read More

  • Use the Force (Literally) with Sphero

    Sphero’s New Wristband Will Let You Control BB-8 With Gestures — And Also The Force

    “We’re giving every Star Wars fan the power of the Force,” said Sphero CEO Paul Berberian. He stopped by the TechCrunch stage at the Consumer Electronics Show today to show off the company’s Force Band, which will allow people to control the company’s BB-8 robotic toy with gestures. When pressed on how it worked, Berberian first said that “the Force works… Read More

  • 13 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

    13 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

    This week, rumors swirled about the new Apple TV, Google changed its logo, Chrome killed Flash ads, and BB-8 scared our office dog. These are the stories to catch you up on this week’s tech news. Read More

  • Bring Home Your Own Star Wars BB-8 Droid, Thanks To Sphero

    Sphero's Star Wars BB-8 Droid | Demo

    Usually, when you fall in love with some cool gadget depicted on-screen in the latest science fiction blockbuster, the best you can hope for is that maybe, maybe some gifted entrepreneur will be inspired to bring it to life in the years to come. For the most part, that’ll be true of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (coming this December, as if you hadn’t already put it on your calendar). Read More

  • Star Wars BB-8 Designer Sphero Raises Another $45M From Mercato, Disney And More

    Star Wars BB-8 Designer Sphero Raises Another $45M From Mercato, Disney And More

    As anticipation continues to rise for the new Star Wars film to open at the end of this year, a hardware startup central to the making of one of the characters has raised a new round of funding. Sphero, makers of the eponymous spherical robots that you control with your smartphone — as well as the new BB-8 droid in Star Wars: The Force Awakens — has raised $45 million in a new… Read More