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Control Cars' Lightning McQueen and his legacy with your smartphone

Sphero teamed up with Disney to release the BB-8 robot, and the companies are at it again with the Lightning McQueen robot.

Published onMay 24, 2017

Sphero made plenty of headlines a few years ago when it released the BB-8 robot, a tiny replica of the droid featured in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fast forward two years, and the company partnered up with Disney again to release a new robot based on Lightning McQueen, the main character in the Cars movies.

Much like with the BB-8 toy, the Lightning McQueen robot is not only controlled by a companion app over Bluetooth, it’ll also throw some quips your way when you watch Cars with it. Since the Lightning McQueen robot is a toy car, you can drive up to six miles per hour and even do some drifts. You will not want to be too far away from it, however – the car has a 30-foot range and will last around 40 minutes if you drive it.

What might be of more significant interest is what else the Lightning McQueen robot can do. The car features a 320 x 120 LCD display that, in conjunction with movements that are reminiscent of those in the Cars movies, allow it to express itself through body language and a motor in its mouth when saying one of its 300 phrases. The car is also touch-sensitive, so it can respond to when it is being touched.

Sphero even threw in an ambient light sensor that allows the car’s headlights to automatically turn on or off. In other words, there is plenty of hardware to play around with when it comes to the Lightning McQueen robot.

Such sophisticated hardware, however, comes at a cost: $300, to be more specific. That is double what Sphero’s original BB-8 robot went for, but you get plenty of bang for your buck. According to the product page, the Lightning McQueen robot is compatible with Android, but the app doesn’t seem to be available for download at this time.

As for the car itself, it can be purchased through Sphero’s website, with orders expected to ship out in 1-3 weeks.