I had the chance to play with a RoboMaster S1 and I can tell you that this thing is rugged and can definitely take a hit, so you don't have to be afraid to smash it against other robots, walls or objects you put in front of it. According to DJI, the S1 has a maximum speed of 8MPH, and its removable battery can last about 30-35 minutes on a single charge. Meanwhile, the beads that the S1 is capable of shooting are made out of non-toxic materials -- which is going to bring peace of minds to parents looking to get one of their kids.
Naturally, there's a companion app for the S1, which acts as more than just a controller. In it, you'll find three different modes: Road to Mastery, DIY Programming and RoboAcademy. You can use the app to program the S1 to follow a specific course, using programming languages such as Python and Scratch, which are built right into the RoboMaster application. The S1 will also ship unassembled, as DJI wants people to build it from the ground up. The company says that process should take between two and four hours, and the robot will come with goggles and visual markers that you can use to create your physical courses.
The RoboMaster S1 will be available starting June 12th for $499, which is much higher than Sphero's $199 RVR coding-friendly robot. Granted, the S1 does have a lot more tech inside it. That said, since the S1 is designed to be an educational product, after all, DJI says it will offer special pricing to students and teachers -- though it's unclear just how deep that discount will be.