The Courier-Mail

SPRK EDITION SPHERO

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There are plenty of smart toys aimed at today’s smartphone­carrying kids but few have the potential to inspire a future career like this clever little ball.

This is the gift that should be under the tree of every young tinkerer this Christmas.

Open the app and you can navigate this around the house like the original Sphero ball. But that’s just the beginning.

The app lets you program your robot, instructin­g it do something as simple as change colours or navigate a maze by following a series of directions.

Instead of using code, you program it with buttons. You tap on a heading such as action, event or sensor and then dragand-drop instructio­ns.

It’s simple enough for a firstgrade­r to do basic programmin­g but powerful enough to program complex routines, and those with technical curiosity can toggle between icon and text screens to see the C-based coding commands.

It’s waterproof, durable, has a 30m range and it can travel at 7km/h. It has a onehour battery life and charges on a cradle.

But beyond all that, it is very cool and could be the first step towards helping someone discover a career in coding and robotics.

$120 / SPHERO.COM

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