VIDEO: Sphero SPRK+ launches for Fraser Valley libraries

The spherical robot had a welcome party at the George Mackie Library in North Delta

Kids at the George Mackie Library tested out Sphero SPRK, the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries newest item to borrow. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Sphero SPRK+ made its official debut at North Delta’s George Mackie Library on July 26.

The library held an informal learning session for residents to try out the new robot and learn a bit about how it works.

“For most of them, this is their first experience with Sphero,” said library manager Sandi Burgess. “So they’re just getting a sense of how the program works.”

Most of the kids at the session were just learning to drive using the Sphero SPRK+ app on a tablet — not an easy task with such sensitive robotics. But there are many other things people can do with them: program Sphero to jump, speak, dance, navigate a maze, change colour and play music.

It’s not all fun and games though. Sphero can be used to measure angles and deal with tangible mathematics.

“What we’re going to be doing at the library is introducing basic coding programs where kids can learn basic conditional programming,” Burgess said.

They’ll also be able to get more personalized experiences with Sphero SPRK+ when they take the robot out on a two- or three-week loan from the library.

Sphero loans include the robot, a charging cable, a charging base and a protractor. People taking out the robot need to have their own tablet or smartphone, and to have downloaded the Sphero app.

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