If you build it, they will code.
Earlier in the year, robotics company Sphero launched and successfully funded a $1 million Kickstarter campaign. Sphero used to make flashy toys for Disney IPs, but has since decided to refocus their efforts toward more educational devices. Case in point, the RVR Stem Kit.
On the surface, RVR (and no, I don’t know what that stands for) looks like a typical four-wheeled RC toy. With a smartphone app, you can remotely control it and have it drive over obstacles, climb up hills, and all that other stuff you saw in RC car commercials in the 90s. But that’s just the beginning.
RVR contains a previously unheard of depth of customizability in this kind of toy. Not only can you pop off the top and wire whatever neat electronic junk you can get your hands on into it, its programming is also fully customizable. RVR is intended to be sort of an introduction on robotics for new tinkerers. With some coding and tinkering, you can transform RVR into just about any kind of device, including (but most definitely not limited to) a toy tank, an environmental sensor, a home security drone, and a metal detector. If you’ve got the parts and coding know-how, RVR is there to be your canvas.
A basic RVR unit can be purchased from Sphero’s store for $250. Maybe if you’re clever enough, you can make it a new face plate that doesn’t look like it’s squinting really hard.