It's time for some robots, ladies and gentlemen, of the spherical kind - this is Sphero, made by Orbotix, and we've got a first-hand look at how far this awesome project is along and how close it is to production courtesy of Paul Berberian. Now for those of you that don't recognize that epic name, Berberian is the CEO of the group, Orbotix, who manufacture the Sphero ball. Just this past week we were in NYC for the 2011 Pepcom Holiday Spectacular and Orbotix were up and running with Spheros galore - so close to the sales floor we can taste it!
The first time either we or our sister-site SlashGear heard of the Sphero robot ball it was back at CES 2011 where the whole project was still pretty far from ready to go. Now we've gotten a lot closer to our goal of having one of these magical spheres in our hands, and wouldn't you know it, our production-quality demonstration comes at the hands of no less than the CEO of the group that creates them!
This constitutes the world's first smartphone-controlled ball's first final prototype design debut, as now that we've also hear word of a developer program for the ball back at Google I/O 2011, we're just about to have a full Albuquerque Freak-Out over the approaching days. For those of you not already developing radical new applications for this device to work with, head to http://developer.orbotix.com/ and grab all the full API and Mobile SDK codes your heart can handle, then get to work!
What Berberian shows us is a couple of apps that'll be working on iOS specifically, but we can expect them to be popping up on Android before the release date as well - and what's that release date, you might ask? There IS no specific release date still at this point, but you can bet that the first wave will be coming out inside 2011. You can pre-order your Sphero straight from Orbotix for a grand total of $129.99 over at http://www.gosphero.com/ where you can also wait to see all the lovely apps that go along with it. Also note - the Orbitix team is looking for talented Android developers to join their team right now, and it could be you!
You can hit up the GoSphero webpage there and they'll start taking credit card orders in November (2011), at which point they'll rack em up and start shipping in December (also 2011), and this is all on a first-come, first-serve basis. That's just for the first run, mind you, there'll also be a wider 2012 release starting out at GoSphero and Amazon online with in-store retail locations to be announced later down the line.
Yes please, rolling balls of fury indeed.
Also feel free to take a look at the rest of the devices we got our hands on at the event this past week over at SlashGear (since there weren't too many Android-specific items) by hitting their big [Pepcom Holiday Spectacular 2011 portal] and get gadgety!