Sphero has launched another robot in its collection of rolling ball bots. The Bolt is a ball that features blinking lights and it can also communicate with other Bolts.
The Bolt is embedded with eight programmable LEDs on its screen, so it can interact with you, blinking and showing a smiley face when it’s happy. It can also display an arrow to show you the direction it plans to move in and be programmed with countless other signs to display to its user.
Bolt communicates using four infrared sensors that can communicate with up to five companions at any time, provided they’re located within five metres of each other.
Other sensors packed into Sphero include a built-in compass that helps it navigate around better rather than – for example – fall off the side of a table and crash to the floor. There’s also an ambient light sensor that can be used to trigger certain actions when the light gets low or higher and an enhanced battery life that promises to provide up to two hours of usage.
The Sphero is controlled by the company’s companion app, while it can be programmed using another app – the Sphero Edu app that uses Scratch building blocks to make it easy for you to add new features to the robot. It allows you to tinker with all its sensors including its gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetic compass, light sensor and everything else packed into the little ball of fun.
Sphero Bolt is also compatible with Apple’s Swift Playgrounds programme, making it a pretty flexible little programmable robot.
“Our main goal is to teach through play,” CCO Adam Wilson told TechCrunch. “What we’re going to continue to do is build products that take advantage of this ethos.”