Sphero RVR. © Sphero.
Sphero, known for its ball-shaped educational robots such as the Bolt, has introduced a new robot with a completely different design concept. Called RVR, it is a robust little four-wheeled tank with tracks. Unlike other Sphero robots, the RVR is very expandable: thanks to a universal expansion port (4-pin UART) and integrated power supply (5V 2.1A USB), you can connect third-party hardware like a Raspberry Pi, a BBC Micro:bit or an Arduino microcontroller to extend its capabilities. The vehicle is equipped with built-in sensors, including a sensor that detects the color of its running surface, an ambient light sensor and a 9-axis inertial measurement unit (accelerometer, gyro, magnetometer). The life of the 4,000 mAh swappable battery is approximately two hours. The RVR, priced at 200 USD, is up for crowdfunding on Kickstarter — a first for Sphero (the final price will be around 250 USD). At the time of writing, the company has already collected 389,770 USD vs. its financing target of 150,000 US. Delivery is scheduled for October 2019.
Colour recognition. © Sphero.
With Raspberry Pi and photovoltaic cells. © Sphero.
⇨ The Verge, “Sphero is crowdfunding its new Raspberry Pi-compatible robot.”
⇨ IEEE Spectrum, “Sphero’s new RVR robot is more hackable than ever.”