When it comes to toys you can control from your smartphone, few are quite as fun or inspiring as Sphero. Orbotix blew onto the scene a little over a year ago with an awesome choreographed display in Union Square. The company followed up on the original with an upgraded v2.0 of the robotic ball which began shipping in September, but that wasn't to be the end of the line. Orbotix is at it again with a completely redesigned robot, dubbed Sphero 2B.

The new form factor abandons the spherical shape of its predecessors for a more elongated body and a pair of serious off-road tires - it almost looks like a futuristic monster truck. The redesigned shape provides more stability and makes it possible to quickly change direction. Sphero 2B should be able to achieve speeds of up to 14 feet per second, doubling that of Sphero 2.0, and supports interchangeable wheels, tires, and hubcaps for handling different terrain.

Like the rest of the family, Sphero 2B is very programmable and can be used as both a robot or as a game controller. It connects through Bluetooth LE with a range of about 30 meters.

Sphero 2B at CES 2014

Sphero 2B is making an appearance at CES 2014, but won't begin shipping until Fall 2014. The price should come in just under $100 USD. If you would like to make sure you're one of the first to receive it, hit the Sphero website and get on the reservations list now.

Source: Sphero, MarketWire

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • dsass600

    Why would anybody buy this? Honestly.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Are you looking for a practical reason or a silly explanation? It's a toy, plain and simple. Look at this like a remote-controlled car, but with a few different applications.

      I don't really want it for myself, but I think it would be a pretty cool thing to get for a kid, especially since it is multipurpose.

      • dsass600

        It's not really multipurpose, it looks fragile, and It's $100. I don't see buying this for anyone.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          The PR says it's built from a really durable poly-carbonate. I haven't held it, so I wouldn't venture a guess as to how much abuse it can actually take. I'm sure it's not indestructible, but I seriously doubt it's fair to call it fragile.

          It can also be used as a game controller, therefore, multipurpose. The list of supported games isn't massive, but it's longer than most of the various gamepads that came out over the last 2 years.

          For $100, it's not a steal, but it's much cheaper than the AR Drone robots also announced at CES and it can be used for more stuff. I'm sure you're not the target market, but this would appeal to some other people.

          • http://mrmcpowned.com mrmcpowned

            To put things succinctly, "Different strokes for different folks."