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Sphero Mini Activity Kit: App-Controlled Robotic Ball and 55 Piece STEM Learning Construction Set, Play, Learn, Code, Ages 5 and up
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- Gyroscope and accelerometer sensors that allow the user to control the orientation and speed of the robot and LED lighting for a vibrant visual experience and customizations
- Micro USB rechargeable battery
- 45 minutes of play time
- Sphero Mini Clear Shell
- Construction set can have many configurations (maze, field, tunnel, windmill, etc.)
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From the manufacturer
So Many Ways to Learn. So Many Ways to Play.
The Sphero Mini Activity Kit has everything you need to get rolling and playing. Each Kit comes with a clear Sphero Mini app-enabled robotic ball and bumper cover, 28-Piece Construction Set, 15 Activity Cards, 6 Pins, and 3 Cones.
Follow the STEM-inspired Activity Cards to build mazes, design obstacle courses, construct towers, play sports, and more. Complete all the challenges and games, then create your own fun - the possibilities are endless.
Explore driving modes or use the Mini as a controller for arcade-style games with the Sphero Play app. Test your skills as you dodge and destroy asteroids, race through a tunnel, or smash a polygon of bricks.
Download the Sphero Edu app to dive into Draw, Blocks, and Text coding activities, or create your own programs and share them with the world. With so many ways to play, where will your imagination take you?
- Clear plastic shell - see the tech inside
- Bluetooth Smart connection (10 meter range)
- Micro USB charger (almost 1 hour of play)
- Height: 42mm / Width: 42mm / Weight: 46g
- Compatible with Sphero Edu app on iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows & Chrome
- Compatible with Sphero Play app on iOS & Android
Play. Learn. Code.
Guided Creative Play
Use the included activity cards and construction set to complete all the challenges and games - and then create your own fun.
Tilt your device. Pull back and slingshot forward. Use the Joystick. Whatever you’re in the mood for, the Sphero Play app has it.
Use the ball as a controller with the Sphero Play app to dodge and destroy asteroids, race through a rotating tunnel, or smash a polygon of bricks.
Learn to Code
|Mini Activity Kit||BOLT||SPRK+|
|Size||About as big as a ping pong ball||About as big as a baseball||About as big as a baseball|
|Material||Plastic shell opens for charging and exploring the robot. Construction set is made of flexible, durable plastic.||Clear, durable, waterproof, scratch-resistant. Shell is sealed and does not open.||Clear, durable, waterproof, scratch-resistant. Shell is sealed and does not open.|
|Sensor||Gyroscope, Accelerometer, LED Lights||Motor Encoders, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, 8x8 LED Matrix, Light Sensor, Infrared, Compass||Motor Encoders, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, LED Lights|
|Top Speed||1 meter per sec (2.2 mph)||2 meters per sec (4.5 mph)||2 meters per sec (4.5 mph)|
|What's in the Box?||Clear Sphero Mini, Bumper cover, 6 pins and 3 cones, 15 STEM-inspired activity cards, 28-piece construction set, Micro USB cable||Sphero BOLT, Inductive charging base with UBS cable||Sphero SPRK+, Inductive charging base with USB cable, Maze tape, Protractor with heading, Sticker sheet|
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
However, it simply does not perform.
Here is what happens.
1) Unbox. Quality looks good.
2) Open and charge Sphero mini. Good.
3) Install phone app. Good.
4) Connect to the sphero with phone app. Good.
5) Calibrate the sphero mini by orienting a LED to point at you. Good.
6) Drive the sphero mini in a given direction. Passable.
7) Drive the sphero mini in a different direction. You can hear the wheels spinning inside the shell as it tries to adjust. Lucky if it goes within 30 degrees of the intended direction.
8) Each successive change in direction is less and less accurate. After three direction changes, it is pretty much random.
Watching various video reviews would make you think that the reviewers are not good drivers. In fact, they think they are bad drivers. But in reality, the sphero mini is not a good direction follower.
The issue is the calibration (see step #5 above) does not last long. If you try to re-calibrate later, it is obvious that the LED is pointing in the wrong direction.
There is such a small point of contact between the sphero mini and the ground, that each direction change causes enough spinning that orientation is lost.
I have three requests:
1) Sphero could improve the sphero mini software by allowing an option where the calibration LED is always visible. The app would then have "steering" which allows you to change the direction the LED is pointing. And the app would also have a "forward/reverse slider" for speed control. This would remove the calibration issue and it would be much more controllable. Adding a "trim" to control max speed would be great too.
2) Sphero could improve the sphero hardware. Add a magnetometer so that once the LED orientation is set, the magnetometer can maintain it. This is a very common robot technique for orientation.
3) I challenge anyone to post a video of them driving the sphero mini two laps in a square pattern, four feet on a side.
But for now, I don't recommend.
Sphero mini is an evolutionary device for the whole family. The perfect size makes it easily transportable for on the go fun! From the fun of building courses and playing “hide and seek” possibilities are endless. It’s not only a toy but it’s a game! I love the different ways you can control it; tilt, slingshot, face drive, and much more! I have an original Sphere, too. this one is similar, but a whole lot different. Mini seems faster and quicker. Also, the LED inside Sphero-mini is cool. Sphero mini is a great product.