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Sphero

Is it a ball? Is it a robot? It’s certainly a lot of fun…

Sphero

Image: Hugh Threlfall

December 13 2012
Jonathan Margolis

Found: the perfect techie gadget to liven up Christmas afternoon, and perhaps Boxing Day too, as well as make a great job of amusing – or confusing – the cat.

Sphero is a teched-up, lit-up, waterproof 7.5cm polycarbonate ball, which is actually a seriously clever robot that can be controlled by Bluetooth, using your iDevice or Android phone or tablet.

Sphero requires you to download apps that offer a variety of gaming experiences. You can just roll it around in patterns and wonder at the fascinating mechanism, play quite complex games, or even race Spheros competitively. It charges inductively in a supplied cradle.

Whether it would keep everyone entertained, I’m not sure. I first got Sphero going one recent evening when my son was over. After about 10 minutes of marvelling at how it worked, we both admitted that we were already at the point where we wanted to crack it open. If it hadn’t been a loan product, we’d have been sawing it apart on the spot. Still might.

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Toys, Sphero