Sphero Does Big Android BBQ

18 Oct 2011

What happens when you combine techies and pool parties? A whole lot of gamer-speak, substantial pub-crawling, and good times. It's called the Big Android BBQ, and just the other weekend the second annual "funvention" brought roughly one thousand Android fanatics to the city of Austin, Texas. The hoards of app-junkies, developers, and vendors convened to network, collaborate, and share breakthroughs over cold ones. The kicker? They also got to play with a little robotic ball they’ve come to know as Sphero.

As the largest organized Android event in the nation, the BBQ was the perfect place to finally let Android developers get their hands on Sphero’s mixed-reality gaming.  Our team flew down to discuss the endless possibilities for independent developers who want to make Sphero their own. And that was exactly our goal - to encourage Android fanatics to develop their own apps through our open API platform.

Playing with Sphero was easily the most hands-on activity at the convention (other than chowing down on burgers), and we were pumped to let the little guys roll. It's a good thing Sphero wears a waterproof, high-impact polycarbonate shell. Between the brew, BBQ sauce, babies, and chlorine, the balls went through some serious abuse and still made it out alive. During the weekend-long extravaganza, Orbotix’s own Adam, Ross, and Brandon took cowboy-central by storm and felt like tech-gadget rock stars.

The guys kicked things off with a presentation about Sphero’s software development kit to an enthusiastic crowd, all decked out in Droid-green gear. Day two, the crew entertained the masses at an interactive booth with open drive space for fans to test out their skills using some of Sphero’s coolest apps. And to top it off, the team received more than a few bribes (some borderline unlawful) for our highly-coveted robotic ball. All in all, the Big Android BBQ was an event to remember, and a successful one at that. We're already receiving feedback from developers who have great ideas about expanding the world of Sphero.

The most memorable moment of the weekend? It wasn’t when Sphero went for a swim in the pool.  And it wasn't when Ross got slammed in the neck with an Aerobee (see video). It was when the Orbotix team arrived at the event and an awaiting crowd of hundreds yelled out in unison, "Hey Sphero guys, SHUT UP AND TAKE OUR MONEY!"

Special thanks to Russell Holly and everyone who helped make our first trip to the Big Android BBQ an event to remember. Also a special thanks to Levitating Elephants for letting us use his remix of "3 Shades of Black" in the video.

To check out some exclusive photos from the weekend, head over to the Sphero Facebook page. You don’t want to miss the Orbotix guys rocking cowboy hats.

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