I came across sphero's booth at CES and was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the Sphero's design. On the outside, it looks like an ordinary white ball. But on the inside, sophisticated electronics allow you to control the ball with your smartphone, or even use the ball itself as a controller!
Sphero is a robotic ball that is controlled via your iOS or Android (Compatibility Chart) devices via Bluetooth connection. The default application allows you to move the on-screen 'joystick' around to control the ball. It also has selections to control the speed, and if you are feeling up to it, you can control it via tilt navigation which uses the gyro system (I was able to control sphero with the tilt navigation fairly well, but it definitely takes some practice to become adept at controlling the ball this way.).
There are also a few games where you can use the sphero as the 'controller'. One game allows you to control the horizontal/vertical movement of a ship while blasting the ships trying to destroy you. You fire by tapping the phone/device screen, and if you want to set off a 'bomb' that elimiates all threats on the screen, you simply shake the sphero.
I had the privilege to meet and chat with a few people from Orbotix while I was at CES. I briefly talked with Jon Carroll, who is a Software Engineer, and I also had the chance to talk with Adam Wilson who is the Chief Software Architect/Founder of sphero. We didn't have the opportunity to meet with the other Founder Ian Bernstein. The sphero's Team can be viewed here.
The sphero is charged via an induction process, meaning you don't have to physically plug sphero into a charger. To charge the sphero, you simply place it onto it's cradle. To wake it up, you simply shake it until it lights up.