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Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero RVR
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphere Bolt app-enabled robot, the BB-8 toy that launched alongside Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the new Sphero Specdrums, which Sphero launched at CES 2019. Now, the company is back with another new robot: The Sphere RVR.

The Sphero RVR is being launched on Kickstarter and is specifically aimed at hackers and makers — or people who might be interested in programming and coding for the device. Sphero notes that the device is “fully programmable,” but that doesn’t mean you have to be a coding expert to use it — it’s drivable right out of the box, making it great for coders of all different levels.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

“RVR is the kind of robot I wish I had growing up,” Sphero co-founder Adam Wilson said in a statement. “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 RVR itself offers a “high-resolution motor encoder,” which the company says allows it to be driven with agility, and ensures it can be driven at up to a 45-degree angle. It’s also outfitted with a number of onboard sensors like a color sensor, a light sensor, infrared sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and more. It’s built with a roll cage to ensure that it doesn’t break easily and can send and receive signals to other Sphero robots. Sphero says it has a “large, removable” battery — though it doesn’t note how big the battery is or how long it lasts. It charges through a USB-C port. Last but not least, the robot has an expansion port, which unlocks a range of other possibilities.

In fact, Sphero is also partnering with SparkFun electronics to make use of that expansion port. Through kits that you can buy, you’ll be able to add things like camera vision, a GPS, and more — and you could even build a completely autonomous vehicle.

You can get the new Sphero RVR robot for yourself from Kickstarter, where it starts at $200 — which is a discount from the $250 price that it will cost down the line. Shipments will begin in September. As always, we offer words of caution when putting your money into a crowdfunding campaign.

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