By: Abby Farrell, AOIT Intern
Last week, AOIT received a new friend, the Sphero 2.0 robot. Students will have access to the robot and will be able to learn and utilize it. But before you use the Sphero 2.0 it is important to learn about what it is, the features it has, and how it will be used in the classroom.
What is the Sphero 2.0?
Sphero is a spherical robot toy designed by Sphero (the company). It is a white orb wrapped in polycarbonate plastic, capable of rolling around, changing colors, running programs, and being controlled by a smartphone or tablet. Sphero allows people of all ages to learn the basics of programming.
What features does Sphero 2.0 have?
- Rolling: Sphero 2.0 can roll at a given speed and direction.
- Colors: You have the ability to change the color of Sphero 2.0 to any color you want.
- Sensors: This robot has internal sensors. Two of these sensors are the IMU and the Locator. The robot is able to sense when it has run into an object, thus turning around and moving in a different location.
- Bluetooth: The Sphero 2.0 can connect to devices such as iPads, iPhones, and Android tablets and phones.
- Various Robot Languages: This robot supports three programming languages: Macros, OrbBasic, and Oval.
Programming Sphero 2.0
Sphero 2.0 teaches users about the basics of programming. There are three different ways the robot can be programmed. The various ways allow the Sphero 2.0 to be used by people with all varying programming abilities.
- Draw Programming: This simpler method of programming is intended for grades PK-2, and is simply named “Draw”. Users draw lines to program their robot and can modify the speed and color.
- Block Programming: Intermediate coders can utilize the familiar block-based drag and drop interface. Pre-programmed blocks allow for a wide variety of actions and variables.
- Text-Based Coding: A more advanced method for grades 6-University where users can program with a text editor to write custom syntax.
Sphero 2.0 in the Classroom
Sphero 2.0 is not only fun to play with, but also incorporates technology with collaborative STEM activities. The robot can be used in the classroom to promote group collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking.