Your room is packed up for the summer. The posters are down from the walls for that district-wide painting project. You are just about ready to turn off the lights and lock the door for the last time before summer vacation. But wait! Have you made plans to care for your Sphero robots? In this week’s blog, we’ll look at ways to make sure your Spheros will be ready to go for the new school year (even if you aren’t).
Before putting away your Spheros for the summer, give them a good cleaning. Sphero provides an in-depth guide for cleaning both Spheros and littleBits, but we will provide a brief overview here.
First, gather your materials. The easiest and quickest way to clean your Sphero BOLTs is to use cleaning wipes. Popular options include Lysol and Clorox wipes. Alternatively, you can use paper towels and cleaning spray. Make sure to store your supplies in accordance with your district’s policies and keep them away from students. Be aware of healthy guidelines for classroom cleaning.
Once you’ve decided on your cleaning strategy, remove the Spheros from their nests and if you have a Power Pack, unplug it from its power source. Use your disinfecting wipes and scrub down each Sphero. Keep in mind that they are waterproof, so don’t be afraid to put some muscle into it to wipe away a year’s worth of grime and dirt.
Without dismantling your Power Pack, wipe down each nest using your wipes. Avoid any open ports. Wipe down all outer surfaces of the Power Pack, paying careful attention to handles and surfaces that hands have touched. Don’t forget about the cords! This is also a good time to wipe down any shared technology devices that are used with Sphero, like iPads or Chromebooks. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. Allow the robots and Power Pack to dry completely before placing your Spheros back in their nests and plugging them into a power source.
Your Spheros are cleaned up and looking great, now it’s time to consider how to store them for the summer months. Sphero provides an extensive guide for storing all of their products. Again, we’ll summarize here for the Sphero BOLT and Power Pack.
Before storing your Spheros, charge them to about 50%. Then power each one off individually. According to the Sphero Website, there is a process to follow when powering off your Spheros for an extended period of time. With the Power Pack powered on, “press and hold the cradle button and simultaneously remove BOLT to turn it off. Repeat for all robots and place them aside. You can also turn off your robot in the settings of the Sphero Edu app.” Turn off the Power Pack using the toggle switch and unplug. Place all of the Spheros back into the Power Pack and store at room temperature.
I know you don’t want to think about it now, but when you enter your classroom again in the fall, you may need to charge your Spheros. Keep in mind it can take up to six hours to fully charge the robots. Your Spheros are now ready to roll with your brand new group of students. And if you’re looking for Sphero curriculum for your classroom, check out our website! Have a great summer and a fantastic new school year!