Sphero Mini & Bolt
Review date: 11/02/2020
Meet the disco balls of programmable learning robot toys for kids. These little bots—ranging in size from a golf ball with the Mini to a baseball with the Bolt—come with lots and lots of lights and sensors kids can program though an app on their phone, tablet, or computer. The Mini comes with motor encoders, gyroscope, and accelerometer. Bolt has all that and an 8x8 light matrix, light sensors, infrared sensors, a magnetic compass, and even it's own protractor! It's enough to made the nerd in all of us happy.
What could happen if something goes wrong
You should feel pretty safe playing with the Bolt at home. It meets our Minimum Security Standards and doesn't share your data. However, if your youngster uses Sphero Edu in school, your child's data is shared with teachers and with parents. That's likely not that big of a deal. However, it is something to consider, as we're seeing school and educational setting become an area of growing concern for how they protect—or don't—children's data.
Can it snoop on me?
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
What data does it collect?
If you create an account: Name, age, gender, username.
How does it use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record for protecting users’ data?
No known incidents in the last 2 years.
Can this product be used offline?
User friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Data is encrypted in transit and at rest where possible to ensure its safety.
The device pairs securely via Bluetooth, which does not require a password. Sphero Mini can be used with both Sphero Play (which has no user accounts and therefore no passwords) and Sphero Edu (which supports a variety of usage options ranging from no login up to integration with third party authentication services with their own password policies)
Sphero pushes automatic updates to its devices and verifies the code to ensure it's authentic.
Sphero has a bug bounty program, which means that anyone who finds a security issue and discloses it responsibly may get paid. The company also performs regular security audits.