Sphero Launches Kickstarter for New Programmable Robot 'RVR'

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Sphero today debuted a Kickstarter for its latest robot, the RVR, a fully programmable and customizable RC car that the company says has "endless coding possibilities." The RVR Kickstarter begins its pledge levels at $199 and will have a final MSRP of $249, and marks Sphero's first ever Kickstarter project. The final goal for the project is $150,000.


Sphero says that initial shipments will start in September/October 2019, but as with all Kickstarters you should remember that sometimes things are delayed for longer than initially promised. Still, Sphero is a well-known company, and a representative told us that RVR will ship in the designated time frame regardless of the Kickstarter.
"RVR is the kind of robot I wish I had growing up," said Adam Wilson, Sphero co-founder and chief creative officer. "For makers, developers and anyone who loves to build things, RVR's advanced capabilities bring to life everything that makes coding exciting. That creative experience is at the core of why we first started Sphero."
The company says that RVR is drivable out of the box and is usable for coders of all levels, but it has a few advanced features geared toward those looking for a more complex coding experience. RVR can be customized through a universal expansion port, full suite of on-board sensors, and an advanced control system.


Sphero says the robot has a fine-tuned, high-resolution motor encoder that allows for extreme agility and accuracy when controlling it. RVR's universal expansion port has the ability to connect to third-party hardware like Raspberry Pi, Micro:Bit, and Arduino.

Onboard sensors include a color sensor, light sensor, IR, magnetometer, accelerometer, and gyroscope, as well as a roll cage and clear protective plate that can be removed. RVR has an ambient light sensor and 9-axis IMU that can send and receive signals to interact with other Sphero robots.


RVR will connect to the Sphero EDU app, like the company's other robots, allowing users to view tips, ask questions, take on challenges, share their creations, and more. Similar to previous Sphero products, RVR is focused on STEAM learning and the company intends the robot to be used in classes to teach coding lessons.

Sphero also partnered with SparkFun Electronics and its "Get a Bot, Give a Bot" initiative, which will match the first 50 RVR's purchased on Kickstarter with a donation of 50 RVRs to schools.

RVR is available to pre-order on Kickstarter starting today.

Article Link: Sphero Launches Kickstarter for New Programmable Robot 'RVR'
 

H.E. Pennypacker

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Oct 23, 2017
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Sphero products are really cool. For all of 2 days. Also, isn’t kick starter for start up companies. Sphero has been a viable company that’s been self sustaining for a while now. All of a sudden they need a kick starter campaign. That’s like Apple asking for $500,000 Kickstarter campaign for a new iPhone.
 
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ThunderSkunk

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Dec 31, 2007
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Good looking robots. I think I’m okay with the inevitable destruction of mankind if ai achieves sentience and just rolls around the world in style in these little guys. Who knew the robopocalypse would be so cute?
 

barkomatic

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This looks like a fun little toy that will get kids interested in building coding skills. Personally, I like robots with a little more personality. It's more complex to not only control how a device moves around, but also how it is able to read and interact with a person.
 

macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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Sphero products are really cool. For all of 2 days. Also, isn’t kick starter for start up companies. Sphero has been a viable company that’s been self sustaining for a while now. All of a sudden they need a kick starter campaign. That’s like Apple asking for $500,000 Kickstarter campaign for a new iPhone.
I feel like something is up with Sphero lately. Over the holidays I noticed there were some products that seemingly vanished from their site entirely like Ollie. Not just out of stock but like the link was gone. Looks like they are back now. I was thinking about buying one for my daughter. They also recently said they are getting out of the licensing business and discounting things like their Star Wars inventory to get rid of it. I wonder if Disney's licensing terms were hurting the company, or if perhaps Disney required them to produce too much stock and now the warehouse storage and money tied up in production is making them sell at or below cost. They're one of those plucky young companies doing interesting things that I want to do well (like Eero and Ring) but I worry will get bought out by a large corporation (like Eero and Ring).
 

sidewinder3000

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Jan 29, 2010
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Sphero products are really cool. For all of 2 days. Also, isn’t kick starter for start up companies. Sphero has been a viable company that’s been self sustaining for a while now. All of a sudden they need a kick starter campaign. That’s like Apple asking for $500,000 Kickstarter campaign for a new iPhone.
For better or worse, some established companies are now debuting new products on Kickstarter for marketing purposes. Apparently they feel that there’s more interaction with their fan base, and greater word of mouth via social media and online activity to help promote new products.

(I laughed at the “2 days” comment because that’s pretty much how I’ve felt with the two Spheros I bought).
 
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