Fun & Games
Get Rolling: Sphero 2.0 Giveaway


The folks from Orbotix stopped by the MAKE office a few weeks ago to show off the new Sphero 2.0, part video game, part rolling robot. Watching folks drive the brightly colored balls around the MAKE lab brought a smile to everyone’s face, especially the ones who were doing the driving.

Sphero 2.0 rolls 7 feet per second and pairs to handheld devices via Bluetooth. It works with Android and iOS devices and is supported by more than 25 apps. The orbs are powered by induction charging and an internal smart robot. It’s made for gameplay, be it solitary or multiple player. The balls glow in a wide range of colors and they’re designed to be pet proof and waterproof.

Orbotix is offering a Sphero 2.0 giveaway that will let one lucky winner get in on the fun. To be eligible to win a Sphero 2.0, simply leave a comment below, telling us what you would do with your very own robotic ball, by 11:59am PT on Tuesday, Nov. 26th. We will randomly select the winner. The deal includes a Nubby cover, a slip-on cover that gives Sphero off-road traction and extra protection.

Orbotix is also offering MAKE readers a free Nubby cover with purchase of a Sphero 2.0. Use the code MAKENUBBY at checkout after adding a Sphero 2.0 and a Nubby cover to your cart. The cost of the Nubby will be subtracted from the total. Click here to check it out.

493 thoughts on “Get Rolling: Sphero 2.0 Giveaway

  1. Yes, the obvious answer would be to drive your pets nuts. As a parent, perhaps this could be used as a tool for learning in some kind of game… aha, get two Sphero 2.0’s and two paddles and play two-person live-action pong on the floor!

  2. I have 3 girls and 3 cats. I can see it getting taken away from the girls either for chasing the cats or arguing over who’s turn it is. Then it would be my turn. :-)

  3. With this, I would become a cat terrorist… I would lie lurking in the shadows of night for my opportunity to strike, and the cats of the world would be suddenly aware, and be suddenly afraid, as mine would be a nameless terror, because cats do not speak, but if they did, they would cry “WHAAAAAA?!?!”

  4. Funny how a robot immediately makes you think of tormenting pets and kids. Times have changed. Not complaining, that’s exactly what I’ll do.

  5. I’ve already built two robots, one with Arduino, one using EZ-Robot and hacked a brookstone rover to chase my son. I’ve been slowly working on getting them to communicate. Given the open nature of the Sphero API and SDK, I suspect it wouldn’t take me long to get it in the herd. I also have a Great Dane / Mastiff mutt who is terrified of my robot creations, so I suppose I would also make some video of the ensuing chaos to share with the Sphero team. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. The first thing I’d do with the Sphero is attempt to open it to see how it works and assess its hackability. I’d want to use the sphero to develop my own games, perhaps with added sensors or features. There would also be the required amount of dog and cat chasing which could lead to game development for dogs and cats and their people.

  7. I would revel in the thought that I could have created a successful company like Orbotix did. In college for my senior project I invented a remote controlled 12″ diameter sphere. It was quite a feat for it’s time, but the pendulum mechanism was already patented as I later found out so I didn’t pursue it as a product.

  8. My daughter and her cat will have endless fun with a Sphero. Wonder what the chickens in the yard would think, especially with the added traction of the nubby cover?

  9. Cat torturing seems to be the most likely response. I would try to pair it to a Rasberry Pi and a camera to see if the Pi could drive it around and avoid obstacles / chase cats. This would be a good task for our Robotics group!

  10. I would roll it in the morning, roll it in the evening, roll it at supper time, I’d roll that little Sphero and be happy all the time. Come on sing along now!

  11. I would use it to make my own Indiana Jones sequence with lego characters where the huge ball of death rolls after you no matter where you run – even around corners!

  12. I would use Sphero to solve world hunger, create world peace and reverse global warming.
    But before that I would just use Sphero to chase people around in the mall.

  13. I would use it to scare ghosts, and I would also use it to scare my non-existent cat. Or, I’d use it to scare away the ghosts-of-cats-from-previous-owners-of-my-apartment.

  14. I would wrap it in yarn and use it as a semi autonomous ball of yarn once that became tiresome i would naturally use it to create strange robot sphere paintings, failing that the addition of electro magnets would allow for some interesting fridge climbing. Perhaps as a tweet indicator bar graph stylus?

  15. I wouldn’t tell my wife about it and then have it continually move just outside of her peripheral vision. Can you link these things to make a mini-armada?

  16. I’d use it to make some sort of rolling robot camera so I can take beautiful pictures during chicago winter while comfortably sitting in my car:) as u all may know, the winter in chicago is quite harsh, very VERY cold!!!! And slippery from the snow/ice. So the extra traction would totally pay off! I want one, thanks! Plus it may help pass around beer bottles on a flat surface?:)

  17. Paired with a computer vision library object tracking becomes possible. It would be fun to use object tracking on multiple computers competing in a computer driven physical race course each Sphero computer operator running its own implementation of Artificial Intelligence to win the race.

  18. I’ve got 3 small dogs, and my daughter that would chase and play with the ball, and I would enjoy driving them crazy with it. Or, toss it on a golf course and drive the holders crazy.

  19. I’m pretty sure my dog would destroy it but assuming i could keep that from happening it would be a blast to cruise around the house for my son and cat.

  20. I would use it in our STEAM Lab at my daughters preschool. Yes, we have a STEAM lab for 2-5 year olds and they LOVE it. They work on Raspberry Pi’s, conduct experiments and LOVE to watch things move! This would be a hue hit with the kids!! Please !?!?!?!?!

  21. I don’t have any sons so I miss out on a lot of the cool toys. I would make a marble run track and amaze people, who don’t know about sphero, by seemingly breaking the laws of physics.

  22. I would use this for pretty much everything. I’ve been waiting for the perfect little robot buddy, and this looks like it! I really like how Sphero has multiple applications like being a controller, RC toy, light, etc.

  23. It seems ideal for sifting flour, washing salad greens, frothing milk for lattés, and countless other thankless kitchen tasks. With some upgrades it could also be useful for mixing pancake batter or grinding spices (in large quantities, as for pickling). I look forward to introducing Sphero into my cooking! (Sphero-sous? Souspho?)

  24. Okay, first my kids and I would play/invent/explore…then my students would get to be creative with it…and then for sure it would end up in my husband’s middle school science classroom. It would definitely be enjoyed by many children!

  25. As a device to connect our hackerspace with the community, I’d build a contest around it challenging our members to build elements of a Sphero obstacle course. Then, during next year’s Fresno Mini Maker Faire, turn the public loose on it.

  26. Use it to push office supplies to me using a rig or something, sort of like a pack mule. Also find its capabilities in parkour, mid air, and on a trampoline.

  27. I’d put it on display as part of my robotics club in college. We could always use something good to show off to a crowd!

  28. I have two kids, 5 and 7 who are getting into robotics and programming. Would love to see what kind of control we could hack onto this.
    Plus, torture the cats of course.

  29. I would love a Sphero! And not to just torture animals. He would be my sidekick and go with me everywhere. I’d try to figure out a way to implement voice recognition so I could talk to him like Siri and he could reply with answers.

  30. My 8 year old just spent 45 minutes at the game store LOVING this. And it was right next to the Sifteo cubes that he used to want… now he has a new favorite. He had already visited Santa but insisted on going back so he could ask Santa for a Sphero.
    I love that there are both high-level macros and a BASIC-like interface for programming. He does Scratch but wants to get into robotics and other programming. This completely fun platform will give him every incentive to just keep fooling around with different kinds of code — perfect for the young kids out there. Plus, dear old dad just loves programming up some fancy stuff too. I didn’t glean from the store demo that there were multi-player modes, but playing with game development would be great fun for us older kids as well.

  31. i will drive my roomates dog crazy therefor will make my roomate crazy then he will be taken to the asylum and i will have the place for my own to make a party!

  32. My disabled 4 yr old son, Brayden, could use this during therapy to help develop fine motor skills and would be so fun to watch his face light up with excitement!

  33. I would give it to my husband as a gift. he is a remote control wizard, and would find endless uses! Then I would have to get my own, so we could play together, try every app, and endlessly entertain our kitties.

  34. I would use it with my son’s robotic team and Cub Scout Den.
    They love anything robotic – especially when you can play games with it.

  35. This would be so awesome for my eight year old daughter to play with. She is really into robotics and loves science, with this I think it will spur her on to learn more about it and make for some great memories in the future.

  36. I would love to get my hands on one. My daughter has become fascinated with robotics, and I need to play “catch up” on the technology.

  37. I would certainly give it to my 9 year old grandson (and his father). I’m trying to get my grandson excited about MAKE.

  38. I don’t know if my cat would like it (she might), but my 2-year old niece sure the heck would. As would my young cousins.

  39. I would hope that exposing my kids to a Sphero would generate an interest in robotics and they would learn something that will help them in the future. But who am I kidding? We just got a new puppy. That pups going to be chasing Sphero for days.

  40. We have 5 spaniels and a kitten. It would be a robot pet toy. I am also interested in how it might be modified and what sensors can be used.

  41. This would be great with my youngest son. Also to introduce him to this sort of robotics would be great. i think that you could also use this stuff in your holiday seasons for stuff.

  42. I would use it as a teaching tool in my physics class……nah, probably would just play with it with my own kids at home!

  43. I would use the Sphero 2.0 to help me work on my Sphero Web API. I am currently developing an API for browsers (Chrome Apps, specifically) that allows any Sphero to be controlled via JavaScript using Chrome’s Bluetooth API.

  44. I’d like to put a cover over it like cup or cone and attach a rat-like tail sticking out of the cover bottom like a rat trapped inside and put it on the floor at the mall and freak out people – they’d be afraid to uncover it.

  45. I would use it to teach my students about randomly generated abstract art. We would dip it in paint and then make paintings with it.

  46. I’d build a series of ramps connecting my upstairs to my downstairs using PVC downspout with the face cut off. Then I’d play with it as much as possible before inevitably handing it over to my kids.

  47. Mine will go to my 2 year old daughter. She loves dancing with her Keepon, and I think she’d love Sphero even more!

  48. Although my cats would really enjoy playing with it, I think I would also put something like a rag around and use it to clean under the couch and shelves.
    It will also be send through some kinds of labyrinths. Even perhaps with some kind of ECG/EKG device on the Android phone to pilot it via mind control…. there are so many possibilities :D

  49. I would like to see how my boys interact with it and help make it easier and better by offering up feedback. My thought is that the application of this technology is amazing and would also just like to play with it because its like a cool toy and im a 34 year old geek being young at heart.

  50. I have neither cat, nor dog, nor child at home. So I have to find a way to amuse myself!

    Actually, I am thinking some sort of Twitter interface that would roll the Sphero in certain directions based on the tweet. It could get a workout on my pool table.

    Another cool idea would be for it to go to certain offices based on Tweets. @Carl tweets #ComeHere, and it would roll of to Carl’s office.

  51. I would love to give one to my 4 year old niece, to get her interested in robotics! I’ve loved my Sphero 1.0, so I know she’d get a kick out of the faster model :)

  52. They had a number of these at Microsoft Build 2013. I completed 5+ of the developer challenges, but they were already out of Sphero’s and a number of the other goodies so I ended up with a Clocky. I would use the Sphero to test out my original ideas like dropping it in a body of water and driving it around… as well as creating a Spark Core (WiFi Arduino) powered custom remote control.

  53. Is there an API for it? Line following via remote control from a laptop running some image processing software (Processing)? Or… Ya know… Play with it.

  54. My high school robotics and engineering classes attract the techno-geeks. THIS is just the kind of thing that will attract and engage that demographic who says “robotics isn’t my thing”. Perfect for introducing a broader spectrum of high school girls and non-techie types to the fun side of engineering.

  55. Hopefully I would be able to use Spheroid 2.0 to help kids learn interactivity and physical coordination. Looks like a wonderful tool to develop real time coordination skills that are impacted with true physics!

  56. I would give it to my 7 year old, who is in a Robotics class through his school. He made his first robot out of VCR parts. He would LOVE this!!!

  57. This sounds great! Maybe you could 3D print or mold some bearings for them and put them on a chassis. , maybe mount a video camera or a small toolbox or a drinks dispenser or a down-facing vacuum. And then of course right an iPhone script for it and there you have it a completely omnidirectional self maneuvering and useful servant, the first of many which you will use to make your own private army.

  58. I would love to see if I could find a way to mount a camera inside a clear shell and use it as the perfect tossable camera for Law Enforcement.

  59. I would attach speakers and LED’s and boom… instant party. Cause really, once you have a loud, brightly colored, remote controlled sphere, ANYTHING can happen.

    1. Psst…. It’s jane again…. Clarification of previous comment: When I say anything can happen, I mean ANYTHING can happen, take any idea, and add rainbow lights and speakers…. Think about it……………………

  60. I’d use it in so many different ways: inspire the kids in robotics, play with the baby, find a way to awe students using it in a visual illustration … or just play with it myself (and perhaps annoy my wife with it)

  61. This would be the perfect thing with which to annoy my coworkers. Screwing with people’s minds is the only job perk I get and dammit I refuse to give that up!

  62. I would definitely show it off to all my friends via FB and in person. Possibly, get a YouTube video series going. Then perhaps a short movie?

  63. I would use it to pester our dog. Heck, it would probably terrify her, but it would make the kids laugh so it would be worth it :)

  64. I want to just explore this thing and find out more about it! My 4yo would LOVE the techie part of it, my 4mo old and kitties would just be entertained and my husband and I would just nerd over it. Love!

  65. I would take it to my friends cat and dog shelter so all 4 legged little friend’s can have some real fun in there day’s spent there!!

  66. I would interface it with a rasberrypi, camera, and pythons to have it move on command – approaching cat, human, etc. A sphere that doesn’t want to be caught!

  67. I would like to play music by driving it across the organ keyboard in a geometric series of steps, rolling over our drum set, perhaps driving back and forth over guitar strings… The possibilities are endless.

  68. Chicks, man. I’d use it to pick up chicks. ‘Cause nothing says “I’m available” like a grown man sitting in a bar controlling a glowing orb with his iPhone. Seriously… that’s what I’d do.

  69. I would love this! For my own entertainment and for the kids! And I would really try to find a real world use of this gadget! Ah would be perfect

  70. I would probably try and mount the sphero in a model ship, with propellers attached somehow. The sphero would act as the motor. Love Sphero!!

  71. I would give it to my 10year old daughter Eavan! She lives with her mother and gets NO exposure there to STEM. Whenever she is with me, I do my best to work with her imagination, creativity and get her interested in STEM. I have help from the engineers I work with, (esp the female engineer I work with – THANKS AC!) to get her interested. This might just be the thing that gets her interested. Legos and Mindstorm are a start, but something like this would be super cool!

  72. I’ve just moved into a new house. With one I can:
    Test the pipes
    Torture the cats by rolling around the wall cavity
    Simulate ghosts in the attic and freak out guests
    Find gaps in the fence
    Use it as a measure to know when I need to mow the lawn
    Attach a tail and see if I can attract some local birds of prey
    Chase the cats through their cat run
    Race it to the nearby beach
    Then at the beach use it as a night time fishing lure
    Then build a giant Rube Goldberg machine out of all the left over building materials to keep it busy while I’m sleeping…

  73. I would make it do trick around the house. Set up a course of pots and pans and have it climb and move around kitchen supply and make loops and twists. Then I would make a course around my whole house.

  74. I would print out all these comments, and make a race course and drove back and fourth over everyone else’s comments. Then I would fold some into cubes and others into walls and ramps and tunells, and drive around the obstacle course. Then I would tape them together and make hanging bridges from the table to the counter and drive the sphere 2.0 over the bridges. The whole time admiring everyone else’s equally yearning comments. I would make vines and post beautiful loops of the sphere 2.0 dodging everyone else’s aspirations as it came to me.

  75. I have wanted sphero since it came out, it really looks like endless fun. I would use it the way it’s intended, for pure fun! Seems like a lot of fun if your playing around with it or playing a game with a group of friends. Both myself, my family, and friends would love this!

  76. Drive the pets crazy, and play with upcoming baby. I’m sure more interesting things will come once I have it in my hands to see what it can do..

  77. I would give it to my Dad as a holiday gift. Last year my brother-in-law gave him an RC helicopter, which he loved. I think he would love a Sphero even more.

  78. I would sooooo have precision races! Maybe integrate a jet module and perhaps make it fly. Turn it into a personailty core from Portal. Maybe even turn it into a personally rolli polli olli!

  79. I would play games with my nieces and nephews. And, I can think of a few lessons to teach where this could be used too. I wish I had this a few years ago. My late girl friend had a monkey for a service animal. We would have had so much fun.

  80. I’m thinking I’d have to use this to terrorize the cats and amuse the toddler. Oh, and um.. education, you know for the children.

  81. I’d program it and make cool creative videos in water and on land with my sister’s camera. I don’t mean to be sadistic or anything but my cousins’ cats wouldn’t mind being terrorised…

  82. See if I can get my two cats to fight over it. If its waterproof, see what it would do out on the water. maybe I can stop casting and use this as a bobber to send my line anywhere I want.

  83. I would simply LOVE a sphero and I would show it to all of my friends. I also have a puppie Yorkshire and I’m shire he would also like playing with it. I hope I’m lucky this time :)

  84. Hi,
    Thank you very much for the challenge …
    I have to admit that i would really like playing keels with my children … and also , more personnaly i would like to try to take long exposure photography (light graffity).
    Thank you very much
    Have a nice day

  85. I’ll give this as a present to my little cousin. He have the left arm nerves damaged from birth. He is clever, curious and I found myself surprised thinking how young is. He never act like a child with one useful arm, never asking for help, he make everything on his way. Also he love playing videogame with his sister and have two cats.
    I think it’s a gift that he will like a lot… and I never see any Sphero here in Italy, so my cousin will be original and trandy (because I think he never have to hide himself, but surely I know he don’t). So he don’t deserve pity, he need to discover how clever he is and teach himself to be more creative, that’s all I hope.

  86. I would go to my local lawn bowls & replace the jack with sphero. I think it would be fun to see what happens when the jack suddenly moves. (I know people who do lawn bowls, I wouldn’t do it to some random people)

  87. My wife just LOVES when I bounce Sphero 1.0 off her feet and harrass her when she comes home from work, is making something to eat, or is just trying to get some peace and quiet. Sphero 2.0 — you will bring joy and happiness to my marriage! ;-)

  88. I am an educator, robotics coach, and boundary pusher to get more coding, robotics, and hackerspace into our middle school. With Sphero I would have students develop an obstacle course in our classroom, host competitions and then have them try to develop a robot to beat Sphero on the same course. So many possibilities when you combine nerdiness, students, and coffee!

  89. I’d plan to use it in dark hallways so that I can walk to the washroom during the night without turning on all the lights! Maybe a pre-programmed guidance route? Overkill, I know…

  90. I would stare at it in amazement just like that guy in the video. Then I would find a way to test just how pet proof it is.

  91. I would exercise (torment) my newly adopted dog, two cats and 2 year old son. This would be quite the step up from the laser pointer.

  92. Play with our two kitties, my guinea pigs would probably like to chace it around. Our puppy would LOVE to play with this awesome ball! And I would build a race track for it!!

    1. Even if i don’t win(which Is very likley I wont) I will save up so i can buy one for myself so I can teach my six year old sister, and play around with my three year old brother. I would also buy one for my autistic cousin so I can teach him and help inprove his problem solving when he is in a tough situations.

  93. I would probably look at its hackability. However, I also have a pet bird who loves anything that lights up or moves. I figure this would be the best thing ever in his opinion.

  94. I’d play with it while walking the dog.. He’s a very small dog, and has gotten a pretty good local following. There are a lot of kids around here on the 1/2 mile of each of the 3 walks he get’s per night,.. There’s also local cats galore, on a road that doesn’t have much vehicular traffic. I’d love to take it over sweet jumps in the late evening, with the lights going.. Just get it outside and see how various things, like cats, dogs, kids, etc, react to it, and see what kind of cool stuff I can program/control it to do.

    I’m sure at least one of my own two cats would play with it; he’s attracted to toys like balls, especially if they roll oddly, or change direction on the edge of the rug or something, but he never actually plays with them.. just likes to ambush it, runs up to sniff it and then wanders off unless you keep nudging it for him.. This would actually be ideal for him. The other one goes after anything that moves, so I know they’d get some play out of it too.

  95. I would write an app where my kids could build a castle out of blocks in 2 end zones. Place Sphero in the centre, then each kid could take turns inputting a direction (0-360 or maybe “17 degrees NNW”) and distance (or maybe running time). If Sphero went out of bounds, the kid would miss a turn. If Sphero knocked down the opposing tower, the kid wins.

  96. I would use it to play with the dog. She loves stuff like this rc cars, flashlights, laser pointers and because I have arthritis I can’t play tug of war (her favorite game)
    with her,


  98. You can put it in water??!?? that’s awesome. What wouldn’t I do with a sphero? I’d line up some minifig and do some awesome jumps. Bath time for my toddler would be much more fun. include it in an elaborate rube goldberg set up.

  99. I would try to integrate it into campus orientation for new students by using it as a stand-in for a student during a recorded walkthrough of the Library. We’re always looking for ways to provide informative and also fun-to-watch video clips to use in orientation and like Library Instruction. And then I would take it home and play a bunch of goofy time-wasting games with it on my own. :-)

  100. I’d give it to my husband to use to chase his UAV (quadcopter) as it flies around until it gets lost at the edge of the park :-)

  101. I would program it for use as a controller my ArduCopter (rotating the ball spatially would control the motion of the ‘copter). And like everyone else said, I’d scare my cats and annoy my spouse.

  102. OMG. What would I do? What wouldn’t I do would be easier to answer. This has so much potential I don’t know where to start. Kids, dogs, cats, friends at bar and me after everyone has gone to sleep.