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Sphero’s new RVR robot can pack a Raspberry Pi punch

The friendly face of coding
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19 February 2019 / 17:17GMT

With its little rubber wheels and lights on the front that look like eyes, at first glance it would be easy to dismiss Sphero’s new RVR as just a toy. After all, this is the company that created the remote-control BB-8 and Lightning McQueen. But that would be to do the RVR a massive disservice. Sure, you can scoot around straight out of the box, but it really comes alive when you start tinkering. There are loads of sensors onboard, including colour, light, IR, a magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope, plus the 4600mAh battery and expansion port mean it can also accommodate third-party computers such as the Raspberry Pi and the BBC’s Micro:bit. That opens up a whole world of extra functionality for anyone with Sphero’s Edu app and the necessary coding chops, and makes the RVR a neat little platform to develop them on. RVR isn’t due to be ready until October and will cost US$249, but Kickstarter backers can save US$50 by pledging to buy one now.

Tech toys