Sphero

Introduction

Sphero is a small sphere robot that is controlled through your phone through apps. The apps cover a wide range of activities from playing a game to learning about coding.

Why to use it:

  • Easy and fun to use
  • Waterproof, shock resistant, and designed to be played with
  • Large amount of apps to play with, 14 on Android and 16 on iOS at time of writing
Things You'll Need
Steps
  1. 1

    Install the app Sphero to your device. There are a multitude of apps that work with Sphero, but this document will focus on the one named Sphero.

  2. 2

    Turn on Sphero by tapping it twice. It should start glowing a series of three repeated colours. The first letter of each of these colours is it’s name. For example, if it glows Blue-Orange-White, it’s named BOW. 

    If it rapidly blinks red three times then goes dark, Sphero needs charging.

  3. 3

    Connect your device via bluetooth to your Sphero. Your sphero should switch to glowing a solid colour at this point.

  4. 4

    Start the Sphero app and click Play. You will be taken to the main Sphero screen.  

    Sphero main screen

  5. 5

    Use the big trackpad on the left, the icon with the four arrows pointing out of it to move Sphero around. Use the small icon to the left of the turtle that looks like a dot with two arrows coming out of it to tell Sphero where back is. A blue dot will glow on Sphero; point this towards yourself.

  6. 6

    The Sphero game has a large number of missions built in, involving objectives such as avoiding collisions, driving straight, and other such things. Click the missions icon to pick one to gain points, which can allow Sphero to do interesting things such as jumping and driving faster.

Tips
  • Sphero doesn’t know where you are, it only knows where to think of as forward and backward on a 2D plane when you position the blue dot. Because of this, you’ll likely have to do this quite frequently as both you and Sphero move around.

  • Sphero has a battery life of about 1 hour, and takes 3 hours to charge. However, you can leave Sphero in its charger indefinitely, as the charger will turn off when Sphero is at full power.

  • Sphero will stay connected to whichever device picks up its bluetooth signal first. To stop a device from connecting to Sphero, go to the device’s bluetooth settings and have it “forget” that specific Sphero.

Warnings
  • Sphero is reasonably durable and waterproof, but as it is a complicated machine it still should be treated with care. Avoid having it fall from heights or running into anything at high speed.
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