Over the past year, Sphero has been busy teaming up with Disney on connected toys for film franchises like Star Wars, Spider-Man and Cars. But today the company is launching a product that takes it back to its roots: a mini version of its original app-controlled robot. The new rolling ball, aptly named Sphero Mini, is about the same size as a golf ball and comes with a removable shell, which you can get in white, blue, green, orange or pink colors. As is to be expected given the different frame, it does come with a few tradeoffs compared to models like the SPRK+. Mini isn't waterproof and connection range is limited to 10 meters, as opposed to 30 on its higher-end sibling.
That said, Sphero's only pricing this one at $50/£50, making it its cheapest creation yet. Ollie and SPRK+, for context, are respectively priced at $100 and $130. You'll get about an 45 minutes of playtime with the Mini, and you recharge it via microUSB once it's out of juice -- it takes about an hour for the battery to hit 100 percent. Inside the box, you'll get some tiny cones and bowling pins that are designed to be used as targets for your robot. The Sphero app, available for iOS and Android, lets you slingshot your Mini at physical items, drive it and use it to play mini games that turn the ball into a controller.
In addition to that, it's also compatible with Sphero's Edu application, which kids (and adults) can use the company's robots as education tools to help them learn how to code. Sphero Founder Adam Wilson says that the idea behind Mini was to make something that most people could afford, but at the same time it needed to be a product that was well-designed, practical and, most importantly, fun.
If you think you want one for yourself or your little ones, Mini is available today from Amazon and Sphero's online store.