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The robotic ball is coming

January 18, 2011

One of the many new devices announced at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show was a robotic ball that can be controlled by a device running Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. “Sphero” should be available¬† for Christmas 2011 at an estimated price of $99.99.At first it sounded like a cute toy you get tired of quickly – unless you had a cat you could tease with it – but then I watched some video demos.

It turns out that the robotic ball has some interesting possible applications in gaming and augmented reality. If your interest is sparked, then go to the Orbotix website and learn more about what Sphero can do. or read The Review Crew’s take – CES 2011: Hands On With Sphero The Robot Ball.

This little episode reminded me of the technology truism that new ideas are often dismissed too quickly. A device like Sphero is pigeon-holed as a mindless toy, and then we discover that its simplicity and low-cost are the basis for all kinds of cool applications.

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