Sphero Announces the New RVR KickStarter ( and SparkFun Gets to Hack It)

Our friends and neighbors at Sphero launched a successful KickStarter last week for their newest robot: the RVR. SparkFun is partnering with Sphero to 1) donate 50 RVRs to schools or organizations and 2) to design kits to extend its capabilities.

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We have always enjoyed Sphero's technology (who doesn't love BB-8?). With the release of the RVR via Kickstarter, SparkFun and Sphero saw a great opportunity for collaboration.

What is RVR?

The RVR (pronounced /ˈroʊvər/) is a robot that is drivable, programmable and customizable out of the box. Although it is great for coders of all levels, it offers advanced features that, until now, we have not seen from Sphero. The onboard sensors and control system are cool, but the expansion port allows the RVR to connect to third-party hardware like Raspberry Pi, micro:bit or Arduino, which means users can make the RVR into anything they want. Here is a look at the RVR:

Why and how is SparkFun partnering with Sphero?

Sphero and SparkFun are friends and neighbors, and we have been looking for ways to partner for years. The RVR presented the perfect opportunity.

SparkFun has always been involved in the community and has a standing commitment to STEM education. With Sphero's launch of the RVR (check it out and back it!), we were able to sponsor a reward tier where, for every RVR purchased, we would match it by donating one to a school or organization. This sold out on day two! Awesome.

We obviously could not resist playing with RVR and encouraging others to do the same. So, in addition, we are developing kits to support customization with the expansion port, empowering users to take the RVR to the next level. This means anything from adding camera vision and GPS, to building an autonomous vehicle. More to come on this...some engineers are already having fun with the RVR...

What would you do with the RVR?

We're curious about how you would modify the RVR - leave your ideas in the comments below!

Comments 4 comments

  • chriscrowder / about 5 years ago / 1

    Look forward to using this to teach daughter about robotics and work on her programming. Should be here just in time for her 6th birthday in Oct.

  • Great article!

  • As a traveling STEAM coach and trainer, and Multi-brand Influencer, I tend to receive a lot of parcels and packages. Since I still live in my mother's house while I am getting on my feet, she complains a lot about the messy parcels. So if I can, I would build a smart... And I mean a genuinely smart boy that would help me reorganize my parcels and move them to my room when I am not home. I can add in vision AI to recognize or scan the parcels and then move them to the allocated space inside my room. Proof of concept. But this bot can also be implemented in the real world. After all, there are already some very good real world examples and success cases of it.

    But it's a nice concept to demo and teach. Especially when I am traveling to schools, and I want to wow them about the benefits of steam education.

  • dksmall / about 5 years ago / 1

    What would we do with it? Well AVC comes to mind.

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