TechnologySphero's new Mini Activity Kit lets you build a robot obstacle course
Sphero acquires LittleBits and eyes international growth
The popular STEAM education company Sphero announced today that it has acquired LittleBits. You may remember LittleBits as the company behind toys that teach kids about electronics, and Sphero has made a name for itself creating educational coding robots. Together, the companies plan to bring STEAM and coding products to more classrooms, homes and educational programs. Combined, Sphero and LittleBits have sold more than $500 million in robots and electronics. They've reached over six million students globally. And with this acquisition, Sphero now has over 140 patents in robotics, electronics, software and IoT.
, the company, unveiled a new on Friday that aims to make coding fun for kids. The kit, which goes on sale Oct. 2 for $79.99, includes one of and accessories that can be assembled into mazes, tunnels and more. Sphero said it also comes with 15 different Activity Cards that have step-by-step instructions for different play experiences.
"Mini Activity Kit takes our popular Mini robot a step further by offering an affordable at-home learning experience that mirrors guided lessons taught in schools," said Sphero CEO Paul Berberian in a release. "We wanted to give kids and their parents even more tools to create, explore and invent."
The ISS' spherical robot helper has returned to Earth
Humans are one step closer to having robot assistants in space. The IBM- and Airbus-made CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) robot returned to Earth on August 27th after successful testing aboard the International Space Station. The spherical machine demonstrated both its AI skills (such as recognizing astronauts and offering instructions) as well as its ability to float through the ISS. Don't think this is the end to the experiments, though -- this is really just the start. The partners have been working on a successor that should build on the lessons learned from the first-generation robot.
The mini robot's battery is equipped for 45 minutes of playtime and it packs in a gyroscope, accelerometer and LED lights. The company said a variety of mini games, different drive modes and the ability to change the LED light colors are available in the . Kids will also be able to try out the upcoming code-based Block Drive mode, available Sept. 16, which is meant to serve as a .
Sphero's hackable RVR robot is like an RC car you can add parts to .
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