Sphero launches iPhone-controlled & programmable Sphero Mini

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Robot maker Sphero on Friday released the Mini, a smaller version of its signature robot that can be controlled via a Bluetooth-connected iPhone or iPad.

The Mini is controlled primarily through a namesake iOS app. Owners can use a virtual joystick, tilt controls, or "Face Drive," which translates facial expressions into commands.

The app also includes its own games in which the ball becomes a controller, such as a space shooter and a tunnel racer. More games are planned, according to Sphero. Bundled with the robot are miniature pins and cones for real-world play.

Another upcoming feature is JavaScript programming via the Sphero Edu app. The company's website only lists the option as "coming soon," however.

The robot offers 45 minutes of battery life, and LEDs on the product can glow in any color.

The Sphero Mini is priced at $49.99, and comes in white, blue, orange, green, or pink. Extra color shells are $12.99 apiece, and additional pins and cones come in a $9.99 accessory pack.


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