Sphero targets the education market with a redesigned robot

Sphero's road to becoming more than a toy began last year with SPRK, an educational program that let kids build up their coding skills. Fast forward to today and the company, formerly known as Orbotix, is introducing a new edition of its robot to keep growing that initiative. This model offers basically the same features as Sphero 2.0, including Bluetooth and up to 4.5mph speeds, but the freshly minted clear shell gives it an updated look and allows us to see its glowing innards. What's more, Sphero has released a companion SPRK app on iOS and Android that makes it easy for students, parents and teachers to set up commands for the robot to follow. This process is simplified by OVAL, Sphero's own low-level coding language, which uses simple visual blocks to represent different elements of the robot -- such as color, speed and spin. The Sphero SPRK Edition is available now in the US for $130, and the firm says its charming device will launch across more countries "soon."

So, Sphero, how about that Star Wars BB-8 toy we're waiting for?