The Apple iPhone as a Remote – The R2-D2 Effect of Orbotic’s Sphero Robotic Ball

As the title says, the Apple iPhone can be a remote control for a host of some really cool electronic toys or gaming add-ons. Some of which may seem pointless and other are just really nice party favours, conversation icebreakers, scaring the neighbours or friends witless or just something to keep the kids busy while erstwhile occupied. CES (Computer Electronics Show 2012) revealed a couple of them, so my article is dedicated to one in particular that caught my eye, the Sphero Robotic Ball.

The basic requirements are as follows:

  • An Apple iPhone or and Android smartphone
  • An app for the device that is to be controlled
  • Bluetooth
  • The Sphero Robotic Ball

Developed by start-up Orbotics with Developers in mind, it’s the cutest robot you’ve ever laid eyes on. The original groundwork had been laid by the Orbotics Dev Team back in November 2011AD and this Sphero Robotic Ball is the rolling stone that definitely won’t be gathering any moss as it will be hard to put down once you start playing about.

As an added bonus:

  • Its API (Application Interface) is tweakable by Developers looking to include it in their Gaming Designs, let’s say for example, an interactive game for kids and pets
  • The app runs on both Android and iOS platforms for smartphones
  • Developer Orbotics has two (2) games out that work with this ball shaped wonder, namely Chromo and Sphere Space Fighter
  • It’s waterproof, great for aquatic fun
  • It comes with an internal programmable LED (Light Emitting Diode), making it great for scaring folks at nights, Reindeer Games Style!

The Sphero Robotic Ball is itself rechargeable via an inductive charger that comes with the product, providing hours of fun and fascination at the technical marvel and wizardry of start-up Orbotics and their ability to give you such precise control over a ball in motion with a smartphone.

The gaming darling the newly revamped CES 2012 which now gives start-up companies a chance to shine, the gaming add-on is a great way to scare your desk bound friends at the office or your superstitions neighbour into believing in the ghosts, Paranormal Activity 2 style! It’s also a sign of the growing market for making gaming add-ons where smartphone gamers interaction in a smartphone game affect a real physical object in the real world.

Pictures should suffice to explains why I love this particular contraption so much, as this translucent ball is capable of a great deal more including the added fun of driving you cat insane, once you get the coding down pat! At US$129.99 on pre-order from and available later in the First Quarter of 2012, it’s worth every penny as it as cute as the adorable droid R2-D2 from George Lucas Star Wars franchise.

It’s yet another great buy for tech-savvy Jamaicans now catching on to the smartphone craze as well as the joys of using their newly minted Scotia VISA Debit Card for online shopping as per my article ScotiaBank’s VISA Debit Card – Jamaica’s Online E-Commerce Renaissance.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.