You’re probably familiar with Sphero balls, which “magically” roll around on the floor for hours of fun. If you want to go beyond simple remote control, the Sphero Edu App provides an environment based on Scratch that lets you program it to do your bidding. Now, however, there is a high-torque, tank-ish option called the Sphero RVR — rapidly crowdfunding as of this writing.
The Sphero RVR is equipped with a pair of all-terrain treads for locomotion, and allows you to ‘drive, program, and customize out of the box.’ Even better, you can expand it using third party hardware, like boards made by Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and micro:bit, as well as plug-and-play modules through a partnership with SparkFun. So while you will get a capable robot, it can be hacked into something that is entirely your own.
The robot features a sleek, compact design that you’d expect from a company best known for programmable orbs, in a form that’s meant to be approachable for beginners and experts alike. Onboard devices include an ambient light sensor, RGB sensor, 9-axis IMU, 10 addressable RBG LEDs, and IR sensors. Meanwhile, the RVR’s hardware is set up in such a way that it can travel in an extremely controllable manner, even across bumps and other disruptions.