Year 5 Sphero BattleBots

Last Friday, the Year 5 students participated in a Sphero BattleBot session.  Sphero BattleBots is a fun STEAM orientated activity that gives students a number of design challenges. Students can compete against each other by placing a push pin in the end of the straw and attempt to pop the other BattleBots’ balloon. The competition aspect of the project allows students to evaluate and reflect on their BattleBot design and make changes to improve its performance.

What is a Sphero?  Sphero robots have many different internal parts that make them work such as motors, LEDs, encoders, processors, a CPU and Bluetooth communication module for connecting to phones and a gyroscope that keeps it oriented. The classic round Sphero shape is similar to a hamster ball but is about the size of a tennis ball. A small, wheeled robot inside the shell climbs up the walls and pushes them forward, causing the ball to roll. Sphero robots are ultimately driven and brought to life by the user, either through Drive mode or through programming in Blocks or Java in the Sphero Edu iPad app. So, when we consider “how Sphero robots work” we have to remember that without a human on the other end providing direction, the robot doesn’t inherently know what to do. 

The students had an exciting time and much banter around strategy occurred. We have some very competitive students in Year 5.  Go Sphero BattleBot Champions!

Beth Claydon
Head of Digital Literacy & STEAM