Sphero is a spherical robot toy designed by Sphero, previously Orbotix. It is a white orb wrapped in polycarbonate plastic, capable of rolling around, and controlled by a smartphone or tablet. The company also makes the BB-8 toy robot based on the droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as a cylindrical toy called the Ollie.

Sphero was initially prototyped by its inventors, Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson, with a 3D-printed shell and electronics taken from a smartphone. It was then demonstrated in CES 2011. A newer version of Sphero, Sphero 2.0, was launched by Orbotix in 2013, two years after the initial release. The next version, Sphero Ollie (originally named Sphero 2B), was introduced in CES 2014 and became available as of September 15, 2014.

In July 2014, while participating in Disney’s technology accelerator program for startups, Sphero’s staff were invited into a private meeting with Disney CEO Bob Iger, who showed them then-unseen photos from the production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and images of BB-8—a spherical droid character introduced in the film, and were offered a licensing deal to produce an official BB-8 toy based on Sphero’s technology. Disney also made a minority investment in Sphero. The BB-8 toy was released on September 4, 2015; it is accompanied by a special Star Wars-themed control app, which also features augmented reality “holographic” messages.

(Source – Wikipedia)