Sphero ball-shaped robots have landed at Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) and are ready for you to check out, take home and program.
About the size of a tennis ball, the robots require a mobile device and Sphero-related app (free to download from the App Store or Google Play) to get rolling. Once connected, you can program lights, sounds and movements.
Robots are the latest in Virginia Beach Public Library’s ongoing efforts to provide residents with access to new technologies and fun learning experiences. The robots help spark interest in computer science and robotics, especially among children ages 8 and up, and foster 21st century skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
While the Spheros are new to check out, last school year VBPL took the robots on the road for a weekly afterschool program at Green Run High School. The successful “Sphero Code Club” introduced students to computer coding and resulted in VBPL winning an award last spring from the Virginia Public Library Directors Association for Most Innovative Outreach.
The Sphero is the third “Take-Home Tech” item the library has launched this summer. VBPL began lending Roku Streaming Devices in June, preloaded with movies, TV shows and library resources. In July, VBPL began offering Fisher Price Code-a-pillar toys for parents and their preschoolers to check out and take home. A VBPL card, free to Virginia Beach residents, is required to check out Take-Home Tech items. One item may be checked out at a time per library card and kept for up to 21 days. For more information, visit VBgov.com/TakeHomeTech.
Find VBPL coding classes and technology programs at VBgov.com/library-events.