The Sphero SPRK+ is a programmable robot and a toy. A follow-up to last year's Sphero SPRK, it's aimed at schools and educational programs...or, parents and kids who want to explore some problem solving and coding.
In the box, you get the durable, waterproof Sphero SPRK+ robot, a wireless charger, and a roll of tape for making mazes for the robot to roll through (the goal is to program a path for the robot to travel using Sphero's Lightning Lab app).
Yes, it looks like BB-8. That's because Sphero also makes the BB-8 robot toy. The SPRK+ works the same, rolling around by using your phone or tablet as a remote control.
Sphero's Lightning Lab app has hundreds of activities, including lesson plans created by members of the community (anyone can submit ideas for approval).
SPRK+ can be programmed using basic commands to roll around, change color, and spin.
Programs can be converted to Oval, Sphero's version of the C programming language.
The SPRK+ is pretty much the same as last year's SPRK, which was also transparent. This one has a more scratch-resistant outer shell, and adds Bluetooth Smart for easier tap-to-pair connecting with a phone or tablet.
Painting with Sphero? Yes, you can. The SPRK+ (and previous Spheros) are waterproof.
Trying the remote to make some robot-generated painting. Not programming, but entertaining.
A build-your-own chariot challenge: Community activities encourage designing vehicles for Sphero to fit in.
Swimming in a custom-made boat frame. When the SPRK+ is in water, it spins and glides.
It charges wirelessly via a cradle charger, and lasts for about an hour between charges.
Making a maze out of tape for the SPRK+ to navigate, programming the app to tell it where to roll.
There are several accessories already available, like this Lego-compatible chariot.
The Nubby cover offers better traction, and is helpful for messy things like painting.
The Turbo cover helps with faster handling.
Is this the perfect programming toy? There are plenty of other options, but the SPRK+ is affordable and still a lot of fun as a remote-control robot even if you never try the extra activities.