The Sphero Mini lives up to its name. It's the size and shape of a billiard ball and a pool hustler could probably make a fortune slipping it onto a felt table and controlling it by -- get this -- just tilting his head. For a device that could pass as a ping pong ball, the Mini is one of the most versatile bots in the automaton marketplace, and judging from their ads, Sphero isn't just marketing this for kids. It's aimed at everyone from 8-year-olds to high-school students and beyond. Talk about fun for the whole family.
The Mini is also colorful. It comes with a set of interchangeable plastic shells to vary up the look and it flashes its LED lights in what Sphero claims are millions of colors, so you could also use it as a Christmas tree ornament. (Just don't make faces at the app while it's hanging from a branch.) Sphero is also the maker of the similar 2.0 and the Star Wars BB-8 Droid, but the Mini is a generation beyond those. For comparable if less capable devices, look at the Ozobot Bit and the Dfrobot Vortex.
Users can drive it around, program it, and play games with it through its companion iOS / Android app. There are four options for driving the Mini.
About the same size as a golf ball and comes with a removable shell...isn't waterproof and connection range is limited to 10 meters.
You can control the toy with facial expressions, use it as a controller for various included mini-games, or drive it around manually.
Compatible with the Sphero EDU app that lets kids experiment with coding...comes with a swappable outer shell and lights up. It feels more kid-oriented overall.
There's no on/off button inside so you need to charge it every time you use it...the plastic cover is too slippery for hard floors.
Not a good direction follower...calibration does not last long. If you try to re-calibrate later, it is obvious that the LED is pointing in the wrong direction.
It’s easy to control, moves at a satisfying speed. The plethora of driving modes, games and educational elements makes this hands down one of Sphero's best products.
Really fantastic. A good price for a very well rounded piece of equipment and the apps, especially the EDU app are impressive.
One hour of charge gets you about 45 minutes of play time. The LED light can be set to shine in millions of colors.
Includes a new feature called Face Drive, where the toy is scanning your face and its motions are guided by your expressions...it was both fun and unnerving.