Sphero BOLT robot returns the focus to education

Eric Abent - Sep 10, 2018, 1:00pm CDT
Sphero BOLT robot returns the focus to education

Sphero’s licensed products have received the lion’s share of attention in recent years, but today, the company is making something of a return to form. Today, Sphero announced the BOLT, a round robot that immediately brings to mind images of the SPRK and the original Sphero for those who remember the company’s roots. With the BOLT, the focus is back on education, as this new little robot is all about STEAM learning.

One of the big attractions with the BOLT is an 8×8 LED matrix on the inside of the sphere, which can be used to display graphics and data in real-time. The BOLT’s on-board sensors, which include a compass, can track speed, direction, and acceleration, and they can be used to program movement commands as well. The BOLT also features infrared sensors, which allow it to communicate with other BOLT robots.

READ MORE: Sphero SPRK unboxingThe BOLT pairs with Sphero’s existing Edu app, and it’s here that the focus on STEAM Learning begins to shine. Sphero Edu supports coding through drawing on the screen or through Scratch Blocks, but for users who are a little further along in the learning process, they can also code through JavaScript.

The app doesn’t leave kids entirely on their own to craft games, however, as it can also be used to download community-created activities. If honing your coding skills isn’t something you’re looking to do with the BOLT, you can also use it to play games, as the Sphero Play app gives you plenty to choose from and allows to you to drive the robot without coding commands first.

All in all, it sounds like a pretty cool little robot, and Sphero says that BOLT is its most advanced product to date. BOLT is available now to consumers for $149.99, though educators can also buy BOLT is 15-packs for classroom learning. Those 15-packs are available with a serious-looking charging case for $2499.99 or without for $1949.99.

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