Sphero SPRK+ Review : Transparent Robot Ball That Makes Coding More Fun

From the original Sphero 2.0 robotic ball, the robot ball has grown up to teach coding, without losing any fun side. Meet the Sphero SPRK+ designed to inspire curiosity, creativity, and invention through connected play and coding. SPRK stands for Schools/Parents/Robots/Kids and turns all that robotic energy potential into a tool to teach coding skills for everyone. SPRK+ is far more than just a robot, it’s a coding buddyfor everyone!

Clear Design

 

What you get out of the box is closer to the dimensions of a tennis ball. But unlike a soft tennis ball, its a hard plastic shell that is clear, you can see a circuit board, cogs, screws, discs and a motor – all visible, you could see it all in details. The transparent design makes the Sphero SPRK+’s is clear from the outside which is unique, but it isn’t a toy. It’s a programming tool for kids or adults and a link between their forst step in programming and the circuit board inside the ball. The ball is clear because it’s to ensure that wannabe coders see the device’s full potential from the start.

Waterproof & Shockproof Features

 

It does look fragile from the outside but that’s not to say it’s fragile. In fact, the SPRK+ is designed specifically handled by clumsy people and sharp-clawed pets alike. No worries of getting it wet as the shell is waterproof and shockproof which allows you to program routines that involve water and hard falls. Furthermore, the demo designs includes the LEDs changing colour as you drop it.

What it can do

 

Equipped with Bluetooth SMART and a strong scratch-resistant UV coating, SPRK+ takes hands-on learning up a notch. You can easily learn programming by Lightning Lab app. The app has a complete hands-on activities, and share your creations with the community such as navigate a maze, program a painting, mimic the solar system, swim across the water and even have a dance party with the Sphero SPRK+.

Get envolved with everyone

You can join the growing community of makers, students, instructors, and parents learning on the same social platform. SPRK+ will foster a love of robotics, coding, and STEAM principle all through play. Learning is fun with the ball!

Tech Specs What’s Great About It
  • Goes over 2m/s Built-in LED glow
  • Bluetooth Smart (30 metre range)
  • Super durable UV coated polycarbonate shell
  • Inductive charging with over 1 hour of play on a full charge
  • App and firmware updates that introduce new features
  • Excellent coding app
  • Easy to set up and program
  • Robust scratch-proof, waterproof design
  • Scales nicely from novice stuff to expert

The Downside

There are some practical concerns. For a start, you’ll need enough space for the SPRK+ to run around in as it accelerates from zero to its 2m/second top speed in no time at all, although you can also keep the speed seconds low.

Battery life may hold you back sometimes. Three hours of charging buys you only around an hour of use or less if you make heavy use of the jumpy Raw Motor command. Practically, this wasn’t an issue for me, but if you’re working on a more complex project, you may need a recharge it all the time.

In addition, it’s a shame that while you can use the Lightning Lab app with other Sphero robots, specifically the Sphero 2.0 and Ollie, you can’t use the SPRK+ with other Sphero apps. This will only work with the standard app (just called "Sphero") and with the LightningLab app. Apps that do not work with this model include SpheroCam, Draw & Drive, and Chromo.

Overall

For those who want to teach kids to code the fun way – the SPRK+ is a brilliant little transparent ball. The only thing I hate is that you can’t use the SPRK+ with other Sphero apps and I wish you can use the Lightning Lab app with other Sphero robots.

However, the main reason I find it cool is the transparent case with its anti-scratch coating. It’s fun and doesn’t feel like “school” when the kids do their coding with the transparent ball through the path around our house.

The SPRK+ is one of those great educational toys that genuinely makes learning fun. I’s building great necessary skills for kids that will enable them to go far in life!

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