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.
When I was a kid, "robot" meant something that you had to wind up (or if you were rich, something you plugged into your Nintendo Entertainment System). Startup company Play-I wants to change that with Bo and Yana, a pair of toy robots that use a tablet or smartphone as both a controller and a programming tool. The company's crowdfunding campaign started yesterday and has already hit almost 80% of its quarter-million dollar goal.
The idea is simple: kid-friendly robots with kid-friendly programming. These aren't simple RC cars in fancy plastic shells, they're fully interactive robots that will require creative thinking and problem-solving from kids in order to reach their full potential.
Today we are looking at the successful funding of a programmable flying robot that is anything but a drone. Patrick Edwards-Daugherty's team wanted $125,000 on Kickstarter to fund the development of Spiri, a Linux-powered robot that is both obedient and autonomous, and they ultimately received just shy of $130,000 in pledges. Just don't call their project a drone - you won't find the word anywhere on the page.
That's likely because drones are scary, and the Spiri's developers want it to be anything but. It isn't merely a robot, it's a social creature that's capable of scoping out the landscape, detecting land mines, watering plants, reporting the news, and saving lives.
If your love for Android (or at least its little green mascot) is so profound that you feel the need to collect every possible piece of memorabilia, then we've got a great deal for you. ThinkGeek has been making official Android plushies for a while now, but they've been consistently sold out on the website. An Amazon retailer is selling them for the low, low price of one buck. If you can spare another $5.99 for shipping, this little guy is all yours.
On ThinkGeek it goes for $9.99, if it's ever in stock. It's even more expensive elsewhere, like Sears.com, where it goes for $15.
There aren't many things in this world that can be as purely amazing as LEGO. The only people who aren't fans of the world's best creativity toy are people who (mistakenly!) think the company has sold out and encourages kids to follow pre-made instructions instead of building something new. To that I say: Mindstorms EV3. With Android compatibility out of the box. Your argument is invalid.
The main part of the new kit, the Intelligent Brick (seen above as a glowing torso with a QR code on its chest) will have more processing power, more memory, and more on-brick programming capabilities.
So, what’s ExZeus 2 all about? To put it bluntly - shooting, shooting, and some more shooting. Yes, you won’t exactly be using your gray cells for this one, but if you’re looking for some mindless fun, it may be worth giving it a chance.
Alright, yes. We've spent over a month getting upset because Christmas starts just way too dang early these days. It's December now, though. Is it finally okay to get in the holiday spirit a bit? Cool. Because these Spheros—robotic balls that can be remotely controlled by Android and carry an array of sensors and lights—are beautiful. The company behind the bots choreographed these 28 units to the tune of Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24, as performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
For the unaware, the song is a mashup of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and Carol of the Bells, originally recorded by Savatage on the album Dead Winter Dead.
This is insane. Google. You've gone too far this time. Look, the Nexus Q was a cool idea. Social streaming? Yeah, I love it! Hooking it up to the Nexus 7? Great! Making it giant, placing it in the center of the I/O conference and giving it access to the deadly neurotoxin? MAYBE NOT YOUR BEST MOVE.
In case you weren't already feeling left out of all the fun I/O goodness, what with the free Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, and Nexus Qs Google is giving out, Artem and David—who are currently at Google I/O having all the fun—sent back this video of a gigantic, glowing Nexus Q, controlled by a Nexus 7 and what can only be described as a control orb.