Robotic ball a hit at electronics show

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The Independent Tech

A glowing robotic ball that is controlled by a smartphone has won fans and the interest of game developers at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Sphero, as the ball is called, rolls around the floor on command, its movements controlled by an Apple iPhone or an Android device.

A light glows inside the ball as it moves about, stopping, starting and navigating around objects.

"The gaming options are endless," said Jim Booth, vice president of business development for Orbotix, the Boulder, Colorado-based company behind Sphero, a finalist for a "Best of CES" award.

"You can get simple driving apps to more complex multi-player games," Booth said. "Office golf - we've had hundreds of ideas."

"We'll develop games for it and we're going to open up the platform to other developers to develop what they like," he said.

Booth said Sphero will go on sale in the United States in late 2011 and will cost under 100 dollars - smartphone not included.

He said the ball is controlled from a smartphone by Bluetooth technology and has a gyro and an accelerometer inside.

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