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View Full Version : Sphero: The Robotic Ball Controlled By an iPhone




MacRumors
Sep 15, 2011, 02:23 PM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/15/sphero-the-robotic-ball-controlled-by-an-iphone/)


http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/09/Sphero1-150x138.jpg

In the same "fun, but impractical" vein as the AR.Drone quadricopter (http://ardrone.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/usa/), the Sphero (http://www.gosphero.com/) is a robotic ball remotely controlled by an app on the iPhone.

Approximately the size of a baseball, the Sphero connects to the iPhone via Bluetooth and recharges via an induction-charging stand. Orbotix (http://www.orbotix.com/), the company behind Sphero, has written a number of iPhone apps and games to use with the ball, including Sphero golf and a KittyCam app that let's users share the Sphero experience with their feline friends (http://icanhascheezburger.com/2011/08/30/funny-pictures-videos-sphero-cats/) -- and capture the whole thing with the iPhone's video camera:

Video: Sphero + Cats (http://player.vimeo.com/video/28164488)

The Sphero will be available later this year for $129.99. It's currently available for pre-order from GoSphero.com (http://www.gosphero.com/reservation).

Hat tip to Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/sphero-2011-9).

Article Link: Sphero: The Robotic Ball Controlled By an iPhone (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/15/sphero-the-robotic-ball-controlled-by-an-iphone/)



iphonesarecool
Sep 15, 2011, 02:30 PM
Wow, that's cool. I'm loving all these remotely controlled iDevice products coming out.

boshii
Sep 15, 2011, 02:39 PM
Pretty cool until the novelty wears off and you're left asking yourself "I paid $130 for this?"

Cougarcat
Sep 15, 2011, 02:43 PM
My cat would love this.

Hastings101
Sep 15, 2011, 02:44 PM
I'm going to have to buy a cat just so I can try that..

JS3
Sep 15, 2011, 02:47 PM
Cool. Kinda pricey. Under $60 maybe but $130 wow. My dog would go nuts chasing this around.

Shrink
Sep 15, 2011, 03:01 PM
Cool. Kinda pricey. Under $60 maybe but $130 wow. My dog would go nuts chasing this around.

And if your dog is any bigger than a chihuahua, he/she will probably chew the s*** out of it,leaving $130 worth of detritus. :p ;) :D

BTW: $130 to roll a ball around the room?? Oh, yeah, I forgot, we get to use our iPhone to control it. Definitely an exciting prospect. :rolleyes:

1eyedwilli3
Sep 15, 2011, 03:05 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Yea I'll pass. When I can get a friggen remote control helicopter from Griffen for half that!!!!
$130
Epic fail.

accessoriesguy
Sep 15, 2011, 03:05 PM
It is: Very Cool for the first 15 minutes!
It is also: Unnecessary at that price tag! :eek:

kny3twalker
Sep 15, 2011, 03:52 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_8 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8E401 Safari/6533.18.5)

Too expensive but awesome idea. $49.99 and my cat would love it. The challenge though would be keeping the dog at bay.

appleguy123
Sep 15, 2011, 04:14 PM
Make it $29.99 and we'll talk. I'd rather buy the helicopter for just a bit more.

nagromme
Sep 15, 2011, 04:27 PM
Iíve been waiting for this. Bring it under $100 (which seems likely enough). Less would be better, but I like toys and buy very few of them. I can swing $99.

Analog Kid
Sep 15, 2011, 04:33 PM
Looks like fun, but it's about $100 more than it's worth...

Plutonius
Sep 15, 2011, 04:40 PM
I'll wait. Give it some time and the price should drop dramatically.

Moonjumper
Sep 15, 2011, 04:53 PM
I was trying to sell a similar idea (minus using an iPhone as the remote) to toy companies about 5 years ago. No interest from them at all.

I even invented a game so that you had something to do with it. In handball you use your hands to control the ball. In football (except the American sport of the same name) you use your feet to control the ball. So I introduce Ballball... Control the ball with your ball on a small ice hockey shaped pitch (it needs barriers or you'd lose the ball all the time).

Shrink
Sep 15, 2011, 05:22 PM
I'll wait. Give it some time and the price should drop dramatically.

Good idea. Call me when it's $0.99.;)

tigres
Sep 15, 2011, 05:27 PM
Good idea. Call me when it's $0.99.;)

Agreed. Who in the hell thinks this up, and then screams- don't buy me?

jayducharme
Sep 15, 2011, 06:47 PM
I'm wondering about its durability. In the first video (the cat), there's a shot of a feline pawing a Sphero that's broken in half.

john.banken
Sep 15, 2011, 08:28 PM
Can I get Apple Care for this? :D

Sackvillenb
Sep 15, 2011, 11:20 PM
Yeah, I saw this recently... it seems pretty awesome, with a lot of potentially fun and interesting uses... kind of a pricey toy though, but it would be pretty cool to have one...!

On a vaguely related note, there's a company I know that makes automated drones (air and sea drones), and they are starting to make software for iphones and ipads to control their drones... seems pretty cool...

Shrink
Sep 16, 2011, 07:57 AM
Yeah, I saw this recently... it seems pretty awesome, with a lot of potentially fun and interesting uses... kind of a pricey toy though, but it would be pretty cool to have one...!

On a vaguely related note, there's a company I know that makes automated drones (air and sea drones), and they are starting to make software for iphones and ipads to control their drones... seems pretty cool...

Aside from fun for your pet, what other "fun and interesting uses" are there?

No sarcasm intended - just interested. :D :)

Antares
Sep 16, 2011, 12:11 PM
If I had a cat, I would buy this.

accessoriesguy
Sep 16, 2011, 12:12 PM
I was trying to sell a similar idea (minus using an iPhone as the remote) to toy companies about 5 years ago. No interest from them at all.

I even invented a game so that you had something to do with it. In handball you use your hands to control the ball. In football (except the American sport of the same name) you use your feet to control the ball. So I introduce Ballball... Control the ball with your ball on a small ice hockey shaped pitch (it needs barriers or you'd lose the ball all the time).

It would suck if they stole your idea, did you patten it? a remote controlled ball?

Supa_Fly
Sep 17, 2011, 10:21 AM
Pretty cool until the novelty wears off and you're left asking yourself "I paid $130 for this?"

Indeed. Still a great product and I think I'll want to try it. I somehow thought this was done before close to a decade ago with something else.

Some things for improvement:
1. Allow WiFi (802.11b for better power, maybe?) for control - greater distances,
2. Allow for small coloured LEDs: I want a crazy disco ball close to a laser light show - ability to follow auto-movement patterns for music playback ;)

However the code and API's could be used for better things down the pipe - RC cars (helicopters already done over WLAN), track mounted security cameras (SSL internet controlled), etc.

iAppleseed
Sep 18, 2011, 05:43 AM
It would be better if the price is $40 :D

seamuskrat
Sep 18, 2011, 08:20 AM
I doubt it will fail.

Of course $130 is a chunk of hard earned moeny. But for some the novelty will inspire purchase. The actual manufacturing costs are probably modest, especially in quantity. A small entreprenerial start up may not be able to take the risk to buuy 400,000 at once. So they bought 10,000 and make back their design and fab costs in the first round of sales. Next round they are $99 and then $6, etc.

Is every iPhone user going to buy one? Nope. But the world is filled with useless ways to part you with your money and people buy them all the time.

Who knows, some Fortune 500 SVP may read this post and think that is a great idea for office.

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Yea I'll pass. When I can get a friggen remote control helicopter from Griffen for half that!!!!
$130
Epic fail.

sammich
Sep 18, 2011, 08:28 AM
Who knows, some Fortune 500 SVP may read this post and think that is a great idea for office.

Until someone steps on one, slips and seriously injures themselves.

Major operational hazard.

Yvan256
Sep 18, 2011, 01:16 PM
Now all we need is a scale-sized labyrinth to play Marble Madness in the real physical world.

wed12
Sep 23, 2011, 11:42 AM
Cougarcat, i'm happy for your cat!)))) the best comment)))

the price should be 1 $ - it is the conception)





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