We know Sphero as the company that made those little app-controlled Star Wars droids like BB-8 and R2-D2. The company has other app-controlled toys and robots, too, like these mini robot balls that can be programmed to roll through obstacle courses and things like that.
Well, now there's a new robot in the mix. Sphero has a Kickstarter aimed at raising money for the RVR, a fully programmable and totally customizable drivable robot. The campaign itself hopes to raise $150,000 by March 21. Considering it's already at more than $140,000 it looks like funding is pretty much guaranteed. Which means if you support the campaign at the smallest available pledge of $199, not only are we pretty sure you'll see the RVR released eventually, you'll also get it for $50 off its starting asking price. When RVR hits retailers it will start at $250. You'll also get a Specdrums Ring at that level, which is a product that sells for $65 on Sphero's website. Anything above $199 comes with even more bonuses, if you're really interested in the project.
As for the RVR itself, it is drivable right out of the box. If you want to unlock more advanced features, the idea is RVR will be accessible to both beginning and advanced coders. Hack it, customize it, go for simple or complex. Control it with your voice, play games, or teach it to carry stuff because you don't want to. It includes a full suite of on-board sensors and an advanced control system all accessible to you. The robot is fast and all-terrain. Its motor can be fine-tuned so it's driven with extreme accuracy and torque, and it can even scale up to 45-degree angles. With the universal expansion port, you can connect third-party hardware like Arduino or Raspberry Pi for even more customization.
The on-board sensors include colors, lights, infrared, magnetometer, accelerometer, a gyroscope, a roll cage, and more. These are all removable and moddable. You'll even be able to program the RVR to send and receive signals from other Sphero robots like the ones mentioned above.
You can download the Sphero Edu app to connect with a community of modders and builders. A different company, SparkFun Electronics, will be building kits to help backers do even more with the RVR like add camera vision, GPS, or build a completely autonomous vehicle.
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