Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Sphero Mini - the awesome App-Enabled Robotic Ball review

I'd seen Sphero Mini before, so I jumped at the opportunity to review. Sphero Mini App Enabled Robotic Ball is an amazing little table-tennis sized ball which is actually a very nippy little robot. You charge it, then control it and programme it, play games and guide it through obstacle courses or just drive around your table or room. It is tons of fun and we think it's awesome!

Sphero Mini is presented in a really smart plastic box which is great for storage and safekeeping afterwards. Inside you have your Sphero ball, USB charging cable, paper guide and a selection of gorgeous, brightly coloured obstacles. The Sphero Mini comes in a selection of 5 different, bright colours - great for knowing which is which if you have more than one!

My boys were sent a Sphero Mini each, so we are lucky enough to have two in our review. We've had no issue with them interfering with each other, but if you stop playing and lose signal it's hit and miss over whether you'll be automatically tethered to the one you want, or suddenly find yourself controlling a different ball. You can simply swipe to re-pair with your original though, so it isn't a problem.

Sphero Mini charges via USB and each charge takes around 1 hour but lasts up to 45 minutes - it gives you absolutely ages to play, and it even held it's charge for 3 days.

Sphero Mini is controlled via an app. which works fine on the older smartphones our bots have use of. You start by pairing the phone to the ball, and then setting which direction is 'forward' from where you are.

You learn by controlling the Sphero Mini using an onscreen 'joystick', but there are loads of other options to try too - control it using sound, tilt, slingshot or even facial expression. You can also alter the speed and sensitivity - great for transfer between a tabletop and floor.

As well as driving around, Sphero Mini can be used as a game controller. It's a great way to practise hand-eye coordination and the games are great.

Once you have the hang of driving Sphero, download the Sphero Edu app. to start coding your Sphero Mini using intuitive and familiar block coding. It's an excellent app. and there are lots of different options - my boys' attempts so far have been a bit wild and large scale, but they are learning.

Writing about it really doesn't do Sphero Mini justice. It's such a fantastic toy that can really help your child to learn the basic elements of coding quickly and with so many laughs. Here's a quick look at Sphero Mini in action...

Sphero Mini is available to buy now rrp £49.99 from Amazon (affiliate link*) and selected toy, game and computer stores. While that's not inexpensive, it's a fantastic toy and a learning tool and I think represents great value. Your Sphero Mini is incredibly clever and the apps are really well-written and very varied and full. It'll entertain your pets and children, and don't let the fragile appearance fool you, ours haven't suffered so much as a scratch - despite a couple of nasty falls and crashes.

Find out more about Sphero Mini on the Sphero website - where there are absolutely masses of ideas plus support, education, information and even input from other users.

We were sent our two Sphero Mini for review. *The Amazon link is an affiliate link which doesn't cost you any more, but earns me a few pence for referring you and I can't find a better price elsewhere. 


  1. These look brilliant. I think my boys would really learn a lot from these, and they'd make a great home ed project!

    1. I think you are right. The coding is block coding and very easy to use, but if you watch the video, you can see how many errors children make when they first start, but how quickly they learn to have more sensible programs! :D

  2. Replies
    1. It is fantastic fun - so easy to use and so much scope - plus by heck it's cute! :D

  3. These sound fabulous. What a great toy with so much scope to do and learn more. I want these, never mind the kids x


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