Sphero Mini: The Smallest, Big-learning STEM Tool We've Seen

  • Posted on: January 2, 2018 - 8:23am
  • By: alarmand

Since their emergence a few years back, the line of Sphero robots has been helping students of many different ages learn some of the most important STEM concepts. It's exceptional at introducing them to topics like physics, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, and, most importantly, coding. Unlike other programmable robots, however, the Sphero, as its name indicates, is completely round and shaped like a sphere. This allows it to roll around -- sometimes pretty quickly -- and enables kids to control both its movements as well as its speed. 

The most popular Sphero model is the Sphero SPRK+, a completely clear, spherical robot that uses a gyroscope-like device to rotate while it rolls around. There is also the Sphero 2.0, which is a bit scaled down, and the original SPRK model. The SPRK+, however, is the most powerful learning tool in the line of Sphero robots as it helps make coding accessible to students who are just starting out. Speaking of just starting out. You know what else is great for beginner-level coding? The all-new Sphero Mini!

Like the SPRK models, the Sphero Mini is completely spherical and moves around and pretty high rates of speed. And, just like the previous models, students can control its movement and speed by writing programs using the Sphero Mini app. There is also the trackpad option, which allows kids to simply guide their Sphero Mini's movements using their finger. Unlike the other Sphero's, however, the Mini is a fraction of their size. It's not much bigger than a ping pong ball, but is guaranteed to unlock exciting new levels of learning for students in the early grades. 

Sphero Mini comes in five cool colors and is compatible with all of the previously released Sphero accessories. As you might have guessed, due to its smaller size, it's also a lot more affordable than the SPRK as it starts at just $49.99 compaerd to the SPRK's $129.99 price tag. Sphero Mini helps turn what would be complex coding into learning that's appropriate for students in first through fourth grade using a series of game-based challenges. The entire time students are playing with Sphero Mini, they're unkonowingly learning all sorts of STEM concepts and taking control of active experiences!

Perhaps the coolest thing about the Sphreo Mini is one of the ways in which kids can control it. It contains a bunch of different driving modes, but the best one is the incredibly exciting new mode called face driving – that’s right, kids can drive Sphero Mini with their face! More conventionally, it can also be controlled with the Sphero Mini app and a simple Bluetooth connection, enabling children to take programming lessons on the go as they try to keep up with its lightning speed. 

Best of all, as children get more comfortable, they can see how their code translates into languages like JavaScript, using Sphero Mini as an all-encompassing learning tool to help them become ready to take on their next coding challenge! Its included games are just as engaging, allowing students to learn the basics of programming while they use the ball as a controller and complete various challenges, leading up to coding with JavaScript. Any one of Sphero Mini’s drive modes – Joystick, Tilt, Slingshot, or Face Drive – is an easy way to help kids get a leg up on coding and basic computer science skills!

The Sphero Mini might just be the next revolution in educational robotics. Now, students are able to feel comfortable exploring this crucial STEM discipline earlier than ever before and will wind up fully prepared to move on to solving their next programming problems. Sphero Mini is fully compatible with both iOS and Android devices and comes with a USB charging cable that ensures 45 minutes of continuous battery life. Also in each kit are three mini traffic cones and six mini bowling pins, so kids will never run out of cool courses or creative challenges to complete with their Sphero Mini! And, should they need some more, we've got that covered, too. Just click here!

To order a Sphero Mini or browse their additional accessories and kits, click here! Be sure to check out the other Sphero robots, too, as well as some of the other educational robotics tools available on our store! Don't forget to join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well. Happy New Year!

Image ©: Mac Rumors