Sphero Bolt classroom confusion


I’m using 15 Bolts in primary class, handing out one robot for each student. One annoying impediment I come across right from the beginning is the connecting process to the app. There is chaos among the class while connecting each iPad to the 15 robots. With 15 robots to select from in the connect list no one including me has any clue which robot belongs to whom. The problem here is the generic name tag or ID of the robot like “SB-FC29”, "SB-813A etc. There is no distinguish mark to differentiate the 15 Bolts, neither in the app nor on the robot itself. Stickers should be avoided because they influence the moving behaviour.
The ability to give them custom names would really help and I hope this will be possible in the future through an update. It is for me the most pressing issue and my most wanted feature, to change those “SB-FC29” names with custom names to the robots.
There must be an identifier functionality for the pairing if 15 robots are connected to 15 iPads. I often hear “Where is my robot?”, “Who has my robot”, “No, this is my robot!” which brings disturbance to the class and could be avoided easily with the right design.

Kind regards,

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It’s quite well hidden, but inside the Bolt at the front there is the ID etched onto one of the components, presumably the Bluetooth radio or something. Not ideal, but if you hunt it is on each device.

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Thanks for the comment but this is no hand-on solution in my classroom environment. Every extra second you have to put into classroom management or IT-tasks while teaching is a loss and should be avoided. For example, my 15 Ipads have individual names and color marks so I can identify them clearly in the room as well as in the classroom management app. The students know their ipad device name but we have no idea which Bolt robot belongs to it. Giving the Bolt an accustomed name would be perfect.

Why not add a “Edit Robot Name” Field next “Update Robot Firmware”, “Turn Off” and “Sleep”?
Couldn’t be such an effort to develop that.

It looks like Sphero never actually used the 15 Robot set in a class. The chaos connecting all the robots is the first thing you will experience. Any tipps how to do that in an orderly way are highly appreciated.

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I can see your frustration! I too have the 15 pack. My suggestion would be to have students spread out when pairing. The majority of the time the robot will go to the top when it is the closest to the iPad. Once it is paired, have the students use the color pallet to match the color with the iPad color. I hope this helps!

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Hi Chris,
I reverse the process with my class. Students connect to the first robot on the list, when it lights up on the charger, that’s the robot they pick up. I’ve found it to be a lot easier than trying to find out which robot the kids have in their hands.

In the event they aren’t sure which robot they’re connected to later, I have them go to drive mode and change the color.

I hope this helps!


I also have started using this method. It makes it MUCH easier.

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