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Leave Sphero, the Boulder, Colo.-Based robotics company, which last month acquired science, technology, engineering, arts and math pioneer LittleBits to announce perhaps two of the cutest new products at IFA 2019. This morning in Berlin, the company unveiled the Sphero Mini Activity Kit, an accessory kit for its smartphone-controlled Sphero Mini spherical robots, and Mini Soccer, a “sporty” version Sphero Mini with cones and a soccer ball style shell.
The Sphero Mini Activity Kit will be available for purchase on the Sphero website and at select retailers starting October 2 for $ 79.99. Meanwhile, Sphero Mini Soccer will retail for $ 49.99 when it becomes available at select global retailers on September 16.
The Sphero Mini Activity Kit includes games and 15 step-by-step lessons in total, plus miniature props with projects that sync with Sphero’s Play and Edu apps. In the box is a translucent Sphero Mini containing a set of sensors (including a gyroscope, accelerometer, and LED lights), along with a rechargeable battery, buildable mazes and tunnels, pins and cones. , and activity cards with guided instructions.
Through the aforementioned Play app, users can switch between different driving modes and LED light colors. Play also incorporates guided activities on the included maps, and starting September 16, it will benefit from a coding-based driving mode called Block Mode, designed to provide a user-friendly introduction to basic coding. Motion blocks tell Sphero robotic balls like the Sphero Mini which direction to roll, while light blocks add LED effects.
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So what about mini football? Well, it’s a robotic ball compatible with the Sphero Mini app with a custom black and white shell that looks like a soccer ball, as well as eight miniature cones to inspire creative challenges. Syncing a Mini Soccer robot with the Play app allows users to activate a scrum with Kick Drive or schedule routes around cones using Block Drive.
“The Mini Activity Kit takes our popular Mini Robot a step further by providing an affordable home learning experience that mirrors the guided lessons taught in schools,” said Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero. “We wanted to give children and their parents even more tools to create, explore and invent. Sphero’s goal has always been to help children go beyond code to unleash their creative potential.
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