Sphero and littleBitsSphero and littleBits

Joanna Estrada
August 25, 2019

I'm sure Sphero and LittleBits will soon sell combo packages to schools and also upsell schools that don't already have one product or the other built into their curriculum.

Boulder, Colo. -based Sphero was founded as Orbotix in 2010.

Sphero and littleBits said they have reached a combined total of more than 6 million students, 65,000 teachers, and 35,000 schools globally, with more than $500 million in sales.

littleBits makes coding kits and modular snap-on kits to teach children basic circuitry while they make models of remote-controlled cars or electric guitars. The technology it developed also put it in the flawless position to capitalise on the popularity of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with an RC BB-8 toy that moved and behaved exactly like the popular character in the film.

littleBits is best known for inventing the "electronic building block". The union of the two companies can lead to the creation of decidedly interesting products, both in the hobby and in the educational toy, thanks also to the synergy between the technologies available to both. "Together, we're able to make an even greater impact by delivering the best possible solution - whether it is programming a robot to solve a maze or building an electronic music synthesizer".

Sphero's acquisition of littleBits shows that there is, thankfully, still a huge market for educational toys (the official announcement estimates the education technology industry to be worth about $US150 billion [$222 billion]) and that kids aren't completely lost to smartphone games such as Fortnite. "There are infinite learning possibilities - and they're all fun".

"When I studied engineering, it was top-down, test-based", said Ayah Bdeir, founder of littleBits. With access to patents acquired by LittleBits and its own, Sphero will have over 140 patents in can use in projects, opening up Sphero's concepts that much further.

The merged company will have offices in Boulder, New York and Hong Kong, with Sphero's Paul Berberian serving as CEO. Ayah Bdeir will be moving on from littleBits to pursue her next adventure.

Sphero said it plans to accelerate its worldwide growth and pursue other acquisitions to expand its portfolio.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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