India finds the droids they're looking for, the Sphero Mini and Star Wars BB-8 are here

Sphero BB8

Always wanted a companion of your own but just never got around to it? Maybe it was allergies, maybe it was the time, or maybe just the amount of investment it requires? Well, fear not. Luxury Personified has just launched the Sphero Mini and the Sphero Star Wars: BB-8 in the Indian market.

The Sphero Mini is the world’s smallest app controlled robotic ball! It’s a whole bunch of big tech fit into a tiny ball, that’s both programmable and drive-able.

And Star Wars fans, prepare yourself. You can finally an interactive BB-8 of your own! Sure, you’ve seen the toys and action figures available in the market, but did you ever think you’d have one that actually reacts to you? 

Sphero Star Wars BB-8

The Sphero BB-8, the loyal Astromech Droid of the Resistance’s X-wing fighter pilot Poe Dameron, this bot is built for adventure. All you need is a smartphone or a tablet, doesn’t even matter if it’s an Android, Windows or iOS. 

First off, the BB-8 is autonomous. It can go out and patrol on its own. Even while charging, the bot doesn’t sit still. (You don’t have to plug it in, it has its own induction charging station.) Secondly, it comes paired with a holographic simulation. Why is that important? Because it allows you to explore the Star Wars galaxy and train your Droid. The best part is that if your friends have a Sphero BB-8 as well, your droids can actually interact with each other allowing for a Droid-to-Droid experience.

It even comes with a ‘watch with me’ feature so that you can watch ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ or ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ with the bot. It’s not just going to stream it for you, but even react to the movie along the way so that it’s an constantly engaging experience. 

All of this is as simple as setting up the Sphero app on your smartphone. It gives you the option of switching between multiple modes depending on your ergonomic preference such as a joystick, face drive, slingshot among others. Yes, I said face drive. You can literally drive the robot with your face. No joke.

The one thing that you should be wary of is that the BB-8 doesn’t have a speaker. All the sounds come from the device that you’re going to use to control the robot. Not exactly ideal. 

Sphero Mini

So… It’s not as amazing as the Star Wars BB-8 but it’s also not as expensive. What is impressive is how many big features are crammed into that little body. It has a gyroscope, accelerometer, LED light, Bluetooth chip and a battery within the diameter of just 3-inches. 

The Sphero Mini has interchangeable shells so that you can change the colors so suit your mood and feature accessories are available so that you can even build a course through which to navigate your robot. Just set up the 3 mini traffic cones or the 6 blowing pins and play any game your heart desires.

It even has an ‘adaptive personality’ which will change over time to express different emotions that are based on the user’s interactions. If you’re too lazy to use your hands, it comes with the ability to adapt to voice commands. This little robot works with everything. 

It doesn’t have the induction charging feature like the Star Wars model, so you’ll have to crack it open and plug the micro USB cable in.

Not just a toy...

The SPRK Lightning Lab for the Sphero App opens up a whole new world of possibilities. From the simple things like controlling it’s movements and changing its color, to more complex functions like creating programs. The drag-and-drop programming environment allows the users to program any path they want their droid to follow, even draw shapes. If it seems too complex at first, there are a whole bunch of sample programs and ideas for challenges on the Sphero Lightning Lab website that you can access through the app itself. 

If you’re an iOS user, the Tickle app is similar. The interface is more or less the same, but the options are a little more sophisticated. 

Both of these devices can be controlled using your smartphone or your tablets. They can be used to play games, learn coding and so much more. 

They’re an investment towards having a smart lifestyle with being entertained. The games are on-point and Sphero has promised that more are on the way. 

While some sources have reported the prices to be Rs.5000 for the Sphero Mini and Rs.11000 for the Sphero BB-8 but Amazon and Flipkart are selling them for Rs.13580 and Rs.11999 respectively. So do check before purchasing!

Sphero themselves are selling the BB-9E and the Sphero Star Wars Force Band on Amazon as well, so maybe check them out too?

Even Barack Obama has gone gaga over this device, what else is left to say? 

Prabhjote Gill is the Senior Journalist at Business Insider India. She covering everything space, tech and defence at Business Insider India. She is also in-charge of allocating stories to junior writers.