Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. I received the below product. All opinions are my own.
At the time of this post Father’s Day is just around the corner and every year I struggle with what to get my husband for Father’s Day! This year I decided on some fun “family” gifts for dad that he would enjoy as well as the rest of our family together! I had never heard of Sphero before but it looked pretty cool and techy so I knew my husband would like it! (even if he did get it a little early!) Essentially it’s a robotic ball that you control via app on your smartphone, iPad, iPhone, or other tablet! (Think Augmented Reality or just remote control play!) I was SO happy to learn that it worked on smartphones (as well as Apple products) since we are a mixed household when it comes to techy devices! PLUS if your school is into STEM or likes to promote new technology they have an awesome educational program called SPRK that you can learn more about here.
It comes in a fantastic box and my husband could barely wait to open it up – he was as bad as the kids were when they opened this unique tech toy! It comes with the Sphero ball (which my husband has nicknamed “Sparky”), the charger base that you see it sitting in above, and a ramp set for you to do tricks with your Sphero robotic ball. We weren’t quite sure what to expect but we were quickly addicted to this thing! Both of my boys were just dying to get their hands on it and it’s been a nonstop hit in our house since we opened it! You can changed the colors that Sphero shines, play levels on the app, and completely control it’s movements. AND get this – you can totally get it wet!! YES it’s waterproof! We haven’t tried it yet in water as we’ve just received this and haven’t had a ton of time to play with it but it’s also pet proof! Plus you can get a Nubby cover (a flexible silicone cover) for added protection if you want to run it up ramps and things outdoors.
As soon as my husband opened it up he downloaded the app right away and got started. I have no clue what he did to set it up but it must have been easy because he had it up and running very quickly! There are so many things you can do with Sphero (AKA Sparky) – you can use it just as a remote controlled tech toy (which our cats go absolutely BONKERS over!). You can also use it as an augmented reality game where you have to maneuver your Sphero on the ground around obstacles on your tablet screen. You can even set it up as multiplayer so that you can take turns in your household competing and playing on the robotic ball! And did you know that it rolls 7 feet PER second? It’s a speedy little guy!
Sphero is geared for kids of all ages 8 and up – and my oldest son had no problems programming this little robot and using it….all day long! My son is really into higher learning toys and Sphero is a fantastic way for him to delve into simple computer programming and robotics! I can bet you he’s going to want to take this for show n tell once 3rd grade starts in the fall!! He’s had no issues using the interface and although it takes a few minutes to get the hang of directing Sphero on a specific path (like up a ramp) it certainly didn’t take him long to get it down! He LOVES controlling Sphero, then stopping to play the various levels on the app before continuing with the ball. It’s definitely great for coordination skills!
Even my 5 year old has been enjoying Sphero and can easily maneuver it around on the floor! You can set Sphero to a specific color or let it flash colors as you control it. And let me tell you that sucker is sturdy – I can guarantee you we “drove” it into the wall at least a zillion times with no harm to it! It’s definitely built for a beating!
And although this isn’t technically a pet toy I HAD to share one of my cats playing with Sphero while the kids maneuvered it around the house – it was SO much fun! Both of my cats just go spazztastic over this crazy little thing! It’s HILARIOUS! Talk about some serious family fun! I keep catching my husband just playing with it by himself as much as my kids use it so it’s definitely getting plenty of use! Plus on evenings when we’re looking for some family fun we just have to grab “Sparky” the Sphero ball and set up a multiplayer game or make sure the cats are in the room to have some fun with! The boys have built obstacle course to maneuver Sphero around with boxes, toys, and even themselves! It’s been a FUN way to spend some family time together lately!
NOW through Father’s Day ONLY you can get Sphero for $99!
Honestly – our family LOVES Sphero! My husband is just nuts over it and said it’s definitely worth the price for the high quality and sturdiness of it. Not to mention it’s total interactive features and options with tons of apps and options to use with this!