Sphero | Connected Toys

Weekly Wrap Up - Toy Fair 2017

21 Feb 2017
Weekly Wrap Up - Toy Fair 2017

Did any of you guys enjoy a long weekend? We sure did. While most Spheorites indulged in 3+ hour ski traffic or opted outside during this unseasonably warm weather, others of us ventured out to Hell. Hell's Kitchen, that is, to attend this year's Toy Fair in NYC.

While we can't share any photos or detail what exactly we did or the fabulous food we ate, we can assure you attendees enjoyed a preview our 2017 product line.

And we hope you will too, in good time.

For now, patience kiddies—good things come to those who wait. Or visit Hell(’s Kitchen).

A Day In The Life: The lonely Dum-Dums residing in our candy drawer.

Weekly Wrap Up - Toy Fair 2017

Q. Oh, hello. Who are you?

A. Read the label, Dum-Dum(s).

Q. Someone has a case of the Tuesdays. What do you do at Sphero everyday?

A. We sit here in this drawer, hoping for the day when we’re picked by anyone who has a desperate hankering for sweets and there’s nothing else left. It’s been 782 days, but we remain optimistic.

Q. That’s admirable. What advice can you impart for others looking to get into the same thing?

A. Probably place yourself in glass jars on bank tellers’ or doctors’ countertops—somewhere where children frequent with their parents and there isn’t too much competition.

Q. A glass case of emotions, right there. What are you working on today?

A. Right now we’re working on not being buried by the new amount of candy that Clayton stocks the drawer with every Tuesday.

Q. So a “Case of the Tuesdays” is a real thing for you. What do you love most about being at Sphero?

A. We love that we’ve survived three different moves to three different buildings so far. Never know where life will take you, you know?

Q. Do you have a favorite bot of ours?

A. It’s hard to choose when you’ve seen them all grow up so fast.

Q. What do you like to do outside of Sphero?

A. We enjoy anywhere that is not in a trash can.

Q. What do you love about living in Colorado?

A. The mild and arid climate is great for extending our shelf life.

Q. Do you have a favorite spot you like to frequent?

A. Fans’ appetites. We hear it’s warm in there.

Q. Any fun facts you care to share about yourselves?

A. Four things: We were born in 1924, are free or major allergens, kosher approved and always here.

ICYMI Top 5

Kitty. Snowbot. Should we have turned left back there? Cozy. Sandy.

Weekly Wrap Up - Spread the Love

14 Feb 2017
Weekly Wrap Up - Spread the Love

If ever there was a polarizing holiday that struck as much celebratory fervor of fans and foes alike, Valentine’s Day enters the room with a big box of chocolates and roses.

We’ve seen as many restaurant bookings and bouquet-making stations at Whole Foods (so Boulder) as we’ve seen Single-Awareness and I-Hate-Valentine’s Day event invites via Facebook. Which we’ve replied “Going” to all.

Love or love-to-hate this holiday, we’re all about spreading that love—not just with the onslaught of sweets, donuts and RAD BB-8 Valentines flying about in our office—we want to spread that love to you. Right now you can get 15% off* your order with code SPHEROLOVE at chekout on our store for that sophisticated, incredibly good-looking, robot-loving person in your life.

This deal—not your love, of course—only lasts today, and nothing says “I love you” quite like beeps and boops

Really, nothing does.

*Discount excludes Star Wars items, 12-packs, Power Packs and already-discounted items.

A Day In The Life: Anya Grechka

Weekly Wrap Up - Spread the Love

Q. Good morning, Anya. Oops, let me start again: Who are you and what’s your title here?

A. I'm Anya and my title is Mechanical Engineer.

Q. And what does your role entail at Sphero?

A. I'm on the Prototyping team, which means I get to design, hack, assemble, and support manufacturing of our (potentially) new products.

Q. “That sounds boring”, said no one EVER. What advice can you impart for others looking to get into the same thing?

A. Be open to opportunities and get involved in the areas that you're interested in. Gaining in-depth experience on any particular project usually opens the door to the next one. I spent years working in public transit before really taking the leap into product development, which lead me here!

Q. Quite the journey you took then, pun intended. What are you working on right now?

A. I think it's super secret, but maybe I can hint at it: a small version of one of our existing products.

Q. What do you love most about working at Sphero?

A. It's great how supportive the culture is here - if I want to learn a new skill, get a new tool, or travel for a conference - it's usually accommodated.

Q. Tool to succeed. Which of our bots is your favorite?

A. SPRK+ was my favorite until I recently discovered the jumping powers of Ollie. We have a skee ball ramp that I aspire to land an Ollie on.

Q. I LOVE THAT RAMP. Besides racing Ollies, what do you like to do outside of Sphero?

A. I like running, biking, skiing, camping, or doing pretty much anything else outside. I also really enjoy reading and cooking. I own a silversmithing jewelry business called Zaaya, so I actually spend most of my time in a studio soldering away.

Q. You make these? I can’t even fold my origami post-its. We all have our talents, I suppose. What do you love about living in Colorado?

A. I love that my family lives here and that we have the mountains in our backyard.

Q. Do you have a favorite spot you like to frequent?

A. My favorite restaurants are City O' City and Sputnik - both have a great vegan brunch.

Q. Noted. Last question-what little fact can you share about yourself?

A. I was born in Siberia and lived there for 9 years. I still love and look forward to winters!

ICYMI Top 5

Cute and goaline. Closer Anyone have a shovel? Sweetarts My place beyond the pines.

Weekly Wrap Up - Pup-E-Bowl

07 Feb 2017
Weekly Wrap Up - Pup-E-Bowl

As Boston readies their ducks for the parade this morning, it’s got us thinking about last weekend ourselves and reminiscing a bit. No, we’re not talking about the Lady Gaga concert—which we heard was nothing short of fabulous—we’re talking about the Pup-E-Bowl, of course.

Last week we partnered with the Boulder Humane Society, trading Patriots and Falcons for puppies and SPRK+. Many AWWWWs were echoing from the crowd in the flurry of lights and fluff, as the offense was fiercely looking for treats while the defense needed to go to the bathroom. Maybe one or two pieces of turf—tops—were harmed during the making of this game.

This was a game not to be missed. Except for those players who missed it because they were napping.

A Day In The Life: Mike Moran

Weekly Wrap Up - Pup-E-Bowl

Q. Hi there. What is your name and title here?

A. Mike Moran, Operations Coordinator.

Q. And what does an operations coordinator do on the daily at Sphero?

A. I address escalations sent to us from our tier-1 support team, work as a liaison between support and logistics, and handle internal requests for support, demos and functionality training. Some specifics include device compatibility issues, refunds, advanced troubleshooting, etc.

Q. So if there’s a problem, you’re the go-to guy. What advice can you impart for others looking to get into the same kinda thing?

A. Have a lot of patience. Often you may be on the phone with a child working through device issues or basic functionality questions and you need to stay focused, remain steady and calm, and understand you’re the front lines of the company.  First impressions are important—we are the first impression that most of our customers will have.

Q. Keeping us proud. What’re you currently working on? Anything top-secret?

A. Nothing secret. :)  Every morning I check out our vendor’s Sphero customer comments and I respond to every one that is not at least 4 stars.

Q. Can’t imagine there are too many of those. I hope. What do you love about working here?

A. Co-workers  – we have a lot of fun every day.  I do not dread coming to work at all and am grateful for such a good group to work with.

Q. The Nerf gun battles are the envy of the office. Which of our bots is your favorite?

A. Ollie!  Several reasons: 1) Though I had zero to do with its creation, I was working here when it was first conceived of, saw the early prototypes and early testing happening all over the office. It was just cool to see the robot come to fruition from conception.  2) I dig the speed. Ollie is rad, has super maneuverability, [runs at] 13MPH and can really crash into stuff. It’s by far the most fun to drive and makes me feel like a kid when I am driving it around.

Q. What do you spend your time doing when not working?

A. I run the website, Grateful Web.  We have been online since 1995.  We have 245K Facebook fans, thousands of hits per day, and more than 20K articles in our database.  It’s my baby and pretty much what I spend all my free time on.

Q. For good reason, too. What do you love most about living in Colorado?

A. Most of the same things the rest of us say… the outdoors, yoga everywhere, Bluegrass music, breweries, dispensaries, being on my bike, kayaking, and the ability to get to an isolated place from the masses if I choose, but then can come back to town the same day and eat a yummy dinner on the Pearl Street Mall.

Q. What your favorite go-to spot?

A. Boulder Theater or Fox Theater – my two home bases. It’s likely I will be taking photos at one or both venues each weekend.

Q. No time wasted at either place, I’d say. Final question: What tidbit about yourself can you share that most of us don’t know?

A. I am disabled honorably discharged US Air Force Veteran – Military Police, who just happens to be a hippie on the inside.

ICYMI Top 5

Kick off. Grand. Frosted. Birdie. Masterpiece.

Weekly Wrap Up - FETC 2017

31 Jan 2017
Weekly Wrap Up - FETC 2017

Not to brag, but we get invited to a lot of parties. By “parties”, we mean education events and by “invited” we mean we pay exhibitor fees—which hey, any good party has admission fees. At least, that’s what they told us.

Anyways, did we mention this past week we were at both the Bett Show in London and the Future of Education and Technology conference in Orlando? Yeah, THAT Orlando.

We may have rubbed elbows with the industry’s finest, throwing down code in our Lightning Lab App and showing off our SPRK+ bots, and had jam on our toast that morning, but that would be bragging. So, it was ok.

And by the looks of this picture, you can tell no fun was had.

A Day In The Life: Laura Lindenmeyer

Weekly Wrap Up - FETC 2017

Q. Good morning. Please tell us your name and title here, for formalities’ sake.

A. My name is Laura. Up to a couple of months ago I was a Corporate Recruiter and recently I just moved into a HR Business Partner role.

Q. Congrats. So what does your day-to-day look like here?

A. I was lucky to hire a lot of amazing folks over the last 2 years and now I get to make sure they are happy, productive, and continuing to do great work for Sphero.

Q. Appreciate the check-in, thank you. What advice can you offer for those also looking to get into the same thing?

A. Don't be afraid to start from the bottom and work hard.  You'll be rewarded in the end. I started as a Recruiting Coordinator and moved into a full life cycle Recruiting position within a year.  Another route is work for a Recruiting Agency which is like bootcamp for recruiters.

Q. So what are you currently working on?

A. Right now I am work on purchasing a comp survey, pretty sexy stuff.

Q. I’ll say. What do you love most about working here?

A. Our products and the people that make them. I feel like everyone says that, but it's true.  We have some incredibly smart and creative people working here. It's an inspiring place.

Q. Do you have a favorite bot of ours?

A. I know it's not a bot but I love the Forceband. It's so fun to control all the bots with and my kids have so much fun with it. There is nothing like it out there.

Q. It’s pretty OUTTA THIS WORLD. Sorry. What do you enjoy doing outside of Sphero?

A. Mostly just hang with my littles. We get into some epic games of Hide-and-Go-Seek.  When I'm not in full mom mode, I love to mountain bike and ski.

Q. What is your favorite aspect about living in Colorado?

A. The SUN.  It's an amazingly sunny place and it just makes you want to get outside and enjoy life.

Q. Do you have a favorite place you like to get out to and enjoy life at?

A. I think everyone should go to Strawberry Hot Springs outside of Steamboat.  It is truly a magical place.

Q. Truly therapeutic. Alright, to end the formalities, please tell us a little surprising fact about yourself.

A. Even though I grew up in Utah and have lived in CO for a long time, I didn't learn to ski until I was in my late 20s.  You're never too old to learn.

ICYMI Top 5

  1. That slow-mo, tho.
  2. Desert-scape.
  3. Yes, for one.
  4. Did I leave the stove on?
  5. Rhino you?

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