It has been a long time since we’ve last heard about the smartphone-controlled robot ball called Sphero. Two years, in fact. It seems that Orbotix, the brains behind the quirky ball, has been quite busy and has now released version 2.0 of the robot which it claims runs faster, glows brighter, and plays better than ever before.

One might wonder what the uses are for a robot ball only slightly larger than a pool ball. Why for fun, of course! Hook Sphero up with your Android or iOS smartphone via Bluetooth and watch it roll. There are dozens of games available for Sphero, but its usefulness doesn’t stop there. The programmable ball can also be used for educational purposes, like teaching programming or robotics. Orbotix is trying to take that experience to a whole new level with this upgraded version of Sphero.

The new ball is faster, claims Orbotix, two times more than the first version and only slightly slower than a Lamborghini. The insides have also been rearranged to lower the center of gravity to give it that speed boost. It also now has brighter and multi-colored LEDs to make it light up in different colors depending on the situation or the game. Watch it in action in this video ad they put up for the launch.

Orbotix also introduced two new accessories for the rolling ball. Two small ramps come right out of the box for setting up your mini obstacle courses. Also available are optional “Nubby” covers, which come in three color options, for added protection and traction. Sphero 2.0 is now available for pre-order for the price tag of $129.99 and an additional $14.99 for each Nubby cover.

VIA: SlashGear