Sphero, the popular STEAM education firm, this week declared that it has purchased LittleBits. You might recall LittleBits as the firm behind toys that teach children about electronics, and Sphero has made a brand for itself making coding educational robots. Mutually, the firms aim to bring coding and STEAM products to more homes, classrooms, and educational projects.
Jointly, LittleBits and Sphero have sold over $500 Million in electronics and robots. They have crossed more than 6 Million students all over the world. And with this acquirement, Sphero now has more than 140 patents in electronics, robotics, IoT, and software.
This is not the first time Sphero has extended beyond robotics. In 2018, it purchased Specdrums, and it went on to make an upgraded edition of signature music-centric wearable ring by Specdrums. The firm appears to have surpassed the rocky point at which it slashed 45 workers and re-aimed on educational goods. Now, Sphero claims it aims to pace international development. However, it might have to vie against the likes of iRobot, which lately made its own efforts to enter the classroom.
On a related note, iRobot and Google earlier declared that they are working together to enhance smart home tech employing mapping data gathered by robot vacuums from iRobot. The two firms claim the plan is to make smart homes “more considerate” by using the unique dataset gathered by iRobot: maps of users’ houses.
The newest Roomba by iRobot makes maps employing a combination of low-res camera imagery and odometry data. The resultant maps can be employed to allow consumers ask their Roomba to vacuum particular rooms or to make custom cleaning plans. An incorporation with Google Assistant allows users give verbal instructions such as “OK Google, tell Roomba to clean the kitchen.”
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