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Technology Sphero's hackable RVR robot is like an RC car you can add parts to

16:25  22 october  2019
16:25  22 october  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Sphero acquires LittleBits and eyes international growth

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.

At first glance, Sphero ' s newest robotic toy looks like an RC car . In a lot of ways, that 's what it is. Sphero ' s co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Adam Sphero ' s partnering with Sparkfun Electronics to offer some modules that could be used with RVR , but you could also bring your own parts and

Sphero is raising funds for Sphero RVR – The go anywhere, do anything So if you ’re an RC enthusiast, an amateur hacker, or just coding-curious, RVR is designed for you , too. Use the in-app joystick to drive RVR around just like any other Sphero robot . You can also adjust the speed or The Sphero team has shipped millions of robots since we began in 2010 and we are confident that we

Sphero used to make R2-D2 robots and rolling robot balls. The company's latest robot, RVR, is something completely different: a rolling rover that can connect to Arduino and Raspberry Pi, or Littlebits pieces (Sphero acquired Littlebits earlier this year), to become a platform for a lot more.

a small blue car: Sphero RVR is a tread-wheeled RC robot ... and a hackable platform. Sarah Tew/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Sphero RVR is a tread-wheeled RC robot ... and a hackable platform. Sarah Tew/CNET

Sphero RVR is mainly targeted at schools and educational programs, but the $250 robot could be used as a home robot if your kid was into programming. It pairs easily with a phone/tablet app and can work as a remote control car, but it also can be programmed using Scratch or Javascript.

The ISS' spherical robot helper has returned to Earth

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.

Sphero RVR (pronounced “rover”) launched on Kickstarter this week to great interest, surpassing its What looks like an adorable little tread-wheeled tank is actually a base for robotics to build on. The roving robot combines Sphero ’ s Edu app, an onboard sensor suite, and a hackable control system

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sphero , will launch a new programmable robot that RVR is equipped with all-terrain treads, a powerful motor, and plenty of torque so you can go faster That means you 'll be able to control it with systems like the Raspberry Pi, BBC Micro-Bit, Arduino

Sphero RVR works with Littlebits and more

The RVR has a color sensor (which came from Sphero's acquistion of Specdrums), light sensor, IR, magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope, and USB and a four-pin serial port where Littlebits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Micro:Bit hardware can plug in and become part of the RVR.

The company behind AR battle robots MekaMon is shutting down

The company behind AR battle robots MekaMon is shutting down So long, MekaMon. Reach Robotics, the company behind the customizable and kid-friendly spider robots, is closing its doors. In a LinkedIn blog post, co-founder and chief executive Silas Adekunle said the "consumer robotics sector is an inherently challenging space" and that the company, "in its current form at least," would not be moving forward. MekaMon, if you need a refresher, were gaming robots that battled each other and purely-digital enemies through an AR mobile app. The player's phone was both a controller and window into the otherwise invisible arena and blaster fire.

Sphero RVR – The go anywhere, do anything programmable robot . We’ve added some incredible features that open up a world of possibilities for hackers, educators, students, technical Want RVR to be your home security sentry? A roving environmental sensor you can control over the internet?

Sphero ' s New RVR Robot Is More Hackable Than Ever. ROBOTS is a product of IEEE Spectrum, the flagship publication of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional Let's show the world how incredible real-world robots are and nurture the next-generation of engineers and roboticists!

a hand holding a video game remote control© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
Sphero RVR is a fully programmable, 'hackable' robot

DJI's $500 camera-equipped, gel-bead-shooting Robomaster S1 is a more intelligent drone out of the box,  but Sphero's RVR is half the price and a lot more hacker-expandable, plus it has an already-established and pretty active Sphero EDU app to connect with. The RVR can communicate with other Sphero robots like the Sphero Bolt, possibly making for interesting robotic group-hive experiments.

a close up of a toy: Some of the Littlebits parts the RVR is compatible with. (I'll be working on turning these into a project.) Sarah Tew/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Some of the Littlebits parts the RVR is compatible with. (I'll be working on turning these into a project.) Sarah Tew/CNET

I've just unboxed RVR, and it sets up and drives well. It's reasonably fast, although noisy, but the basic controls are all manual: if you want autonomous driving, you'll have to add on Littlebit kits for time-of-flight sensors and other modules. I haven't tried programming with the extras that were sent to me. I'll report back when I've tried to make some things.

a close up of a toy car: Sphero RVR is a tread-wheeled RC robot...and a hackable platform.© CNET

Sphero RVR is a tread-wheeled RC robot...and a hackable platform.

Sphero makes its 'RVR' programmable tank robot available to all .
Sphero, which you probably know for its spherical robots like the BB-8, launched a Kickstarter project for a customizable tank-style robot earlier this year. Now that robot called the RVR (pronounced "rover") is available for purchase. The company expects all backers to have received their units today, but you can now buy one from Sphero's website or Amazon if you weren't able to back the project a few months ago. The RVR is equipped with all-terrain treads, sensors, what Sphero describes as a powerful motor, as well as plenty of torque.

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