Sphero + littleBits Join Forces!

SPHERO AND LITTLEBITS JOIN FORCES
TO BECOME THE EDTECH MARKET LEADER
AND ACCELERATE PLAY-BASED LEARNING FOR KIDS

Over the past nine years, Sphero and littleBits have each created entirely new categories of hands-on learning tools that enable invention and STEAM education through play and technology. Combined, the two companies have reached over six million students and 65,000 teachers across 35,000 schools globally — and have sold more than $500 million in Sphero robots and littleBits kits. Today, littleBits joins Sphero to advance their common mission — inspiring the creators and inventors of tomorrow.

Through this acquisition, Sphero becomes the largest player in its market. With a comprehensive offering of hardware, software, curriculum, and training, it is positioned to shape the $150 billion education technology industry.

Sphero, with the addition of the littleBits line, will now feature a portfolio of over 140 patents in robotics, electronics, software, and the Internet of Things. Teachers will have access to hundreds of thousands of community-generated inventions and activities, and over a thousand lessons tied to NGSS, CSTA and Common Core standards. Sphero and littleBits will also rally their enthusiastic and loyal networks of distinguished educators around the world that they’ve cultivated through their ambassador programs – with over 67 Sphero Heroes and 50 littleBits Bitstar Educators. 

„Sphero and littleBits are on a mission to make hands-on learning fun and memorable,“ said Paul Berberian, Sphero’s CEO. „Together, we’re able to make an even greater impact by delivering the best possible solution — whether it is programming a robot to solve a maze or building an electronic music synthesizer. There are infinite learning possibilities — and they’re all fun.“

According to a Harris poll1, 91% of teachers say they would like to integrate more hands-on learning in their classes, and research shows that students who enjoy weekly hands-on learning activities fare 40-70% better in science, math and other subjects2.

„When I studied engineering, it was top down, test-based,“ said Ayah Bdeir, founder of littleBits. „I hated it and wanted to quit every semester. Then I got exposed to the pedagogy of learning through play and my life changed; no one could peel me away from learning, inventing, creating. Together, littleBits and Sphero are now bringing this experience to kids everywhere.“

With this deal, Sphero plans to accelerate international growth and acquire other products and companies to further expand its portfolio of STEAM products and tools. The company will have offices in Boulder, New York, and Hong Kong with Paul Berberian as CEO. Ayah Bdeir will be moving on from littleBits to pursue her next adventure.

ABOUT SPHERO: 
Sphero has been inspiring the creators of tomorrow through creative learning and play since 2010. From its humble beginnings in Boulder, CO, Sphero has become the #1 robot in education, available in 40,000+ schools, clubs and institutions globally. With new offerings coming out all the time to help kids start, grow, and graduate with Sphero, our robots and products truly go #BeyondCode. Learn more atsphero.com.

ABOUT LITTLEBITS:
littleBits products have been transforming the way kids learn so they can grow up to be tomorrow’s changemakers — no matter their age, gender, race, nationality, or ability. Millions of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) kits have been sold in over 70 countries. littleBits Electronics, Inc. was founded in 2011 by Ayah Bdeir, TED Senior Fellow, MIT Media Lab Alum and Inc Magazine Top 100 Female Founders. Learn more at littlebits.com.

1 https://theharrispoll.com/global-confidence-poll-executive-summary/

2 The National Assessment of Educational progress

Sphero gives hackers and makers a mobile canvas with launch of RVR—the go anywhere, do anything, fully programmable robot

BOULDER, Colo., February 19, 2019 ‒ Sphero, the industry leader in robotics fused with STEAM learning, announced today its Kickstarter launch of RVR – a ready-to-drive, fully programmable and customizable robot with endless coding possibilities. The campaign begins today on Kickstarter with pledge levels starting at $199 (MSRP for $249) and initial shipments will be available starting in September 2019. Backers who support the RVR project within the first week of launch will be eligible to be selected for an all-expenses paid trip to Sphero HQ in Boulder, CO to compete in an all-day RVR Hackathon on March 14, 2019.

RVR is drivable right out of the box, making it approachable and accessible to coders of all levels, including beginners. In addition, its advanced features are geared specifically for those looking for a more complex coding experience — the first of Sphero’s products to do so. For advanced coders, RVR can be fully customized through a universal expansion port, full suite of on-board sensors and an advanced control system.

“RVR is the kind of robot I wish I had growing up,” said Adam Wilson, Sphero co-founder and chief creative officer. “For makers, developers and anyone who loves to build things, RVR’s advanced capabilities bring to life everything that makes coding exciting. That creative experience is at the core of why we first started Sphero.”

RVR is fast, exceptionally nimble and fun to drive for coders of all abilities. It sports a fine-tuned, high- resolution motor encoder, allowing it to be driven with extreme agility, accuracy and torque that can easily scale a 45-degree angle.

Beyond its out-of-the-box base, RVR’s universal expansion port has the ability to connect to third-party hardware like Raspberry Pi, Micro:Bit or Arduino, allowing users to customize the robot however they want.

The robot is outfitted with several onboard sensors that will get any maker’s imagination going: a color sensor, light sensor, IR, magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as a roll cage and clear protective plate that are removable. RVR’s ambient light, color and 9-axis IMU are able to send and receive signals to interact with other Sphero robots. The large battery inside RVR is removable, making charging easier and faster.

“This is truly a professional-level robot, without the hefty price tag,” said Wilson. “By connecting your hardware of choice to the expansion port, the customization possibilities are endless and entirely up to you. For example, you can hook up a camera to RVR and program facial recognition to do a dance every time your best friend walks by.”

To support customization with the expansion port, Sphero is partnering with SparkFun Electronics to build kits that inspire users to take the RVR to the next level – from adding camera vision and GPS to building a complete autonomous vehicle. SparkFun is also backing the KickStarter through the „Get a Bot, Give a Bot“ initiative, where they will match the first 50 RVR’s purchased with a donation of 50 RVRs to schools.

With RVR, like all of Sphero’s products, users have access to the Sphero EDU app, which connects a vibrant, active community of DIYers, makers, programmers, hackers and educators to share tips, questions and commentary. This unique community enhances the product experience, providing users with resources to take on new challenges, solve problems, be creative and share creations. Sphero will roll out an initial wave of RVR content on the app in conjunction with its launch.

To learn more about RVR, visit http://sphero.com/RVR or the Kickstarter project site. Follow Sphero on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

ABOUT SPHERO: Founded in 2010 and based in Boulder, CO, Sphero’s ongoing mission is to inspire the creators of tomorrow. We’re available in 80+ countries around the globe and have sold more than four million robots to date… and counting. Touted as “the best day of school” for kids, we aim to be all that and more as we continue to explore new technologies in the realm of creative play. We firmly believe that play is a powerful teacher, and as long as we’re sparking imaginations around the world, we’ll keep fueling that fire.

ABOUT SPHERO EDU: Sphero Edu uses app-enabled robots to foster creativity through discovery and play, all while laying the foundation for computer science. The Sphero Edu program goes beyond code with collaborative STEAM activities, nurturing students’ imaginations in ways no other education program can. Cross-platform apps

are approachable for all skill levels, allowing us to reach as many minds as possible. To date, the Sphero Edu team works with more than 30,000 educators, in more than 20,000 schools across the globe. More than 1.3 million students have been positively impacted through Sphero Edu and its work to educate kids surrounding technology and computer science. For more information, visit sphero.com/education or follow @SpheroEdu on Twitter.