Sphero Droid

Implementing gobot.io to create an Internet Relay Chat controlled robot

Sphero-Droid is an implementation of gobot.io and go-ircevent, which uses Internet Relay Chat as a communication channel and programming interface..


The project implements the gobot libraries, coupled with go-ircevent.

The software connects to Sphero via Bluetooth, and logs into a definable IRC channel, In my implementation this is irc.freenode.net #sphero-control. It provides a variety of commands for controlling movement, and the lighting colours of the droid. It can be controlled by others logged into IRC, and makes for fun times if it is being controlled remotely by others who can watch its actions via webcam.

Commands and Controls

Control Sphero-Droid by passing him commands via IRC. When available, you can find him logged into IRC at irc.freenode.net in channel #sphero-control.

        Format: sphero command [parameter] 

        speed slow, medium, fast, turbo
        colour red, green, blue, purple, yellow, orange
        move fwd, lft, rht, bwd
        stack push, pop, loop, show, exec

Sphero posts responses, in channel, to the commands you send him

Command Stack

The most interesting and programatically useful feature of Sphero-Droid is the command stack. The stack enables you to prime Sphero with a sequence of commands to execute.

They are called using the “Stack” command here are what the commands do :-

push push the following command onto the stack.
pop pop the last entry from the stack.
loop Reset the stack pointer to 0 and cycle through the commands again. usually you push this to the stack as the last entry
show List the current stack entries
exec Execute the stack. This iterates through the command set one instruction per Tempo cycle

The Tempo cycle, is the pulse of Sphero. Each cycle lasts a specific number of Milliseconds, and is defined by the internal botTempo variable as a number ( default 1000 ) Milliseconds.

        sphero stack push speed medium
        sphero stack push colour red
        sphero stack push move fwd
        sphero stack push move fwd
        sphero stack push move fwd
        sphero stack push colour green
        sphero stack push stop
        sphero stack exec

In the above example we set the speed of Sphero to medium, and switch him to red. Sphero does not begin to move until the first move command is executed, which would be 3 seconds after “sphero stack exec” command is issued. he then moves forward for a further 2 seconds, changes colour to green whilst still moving forward for a further 1 second, and finally Sphero stops. The stop command sets Sphero’s speed, direction and lights all back to zero ( i.e off ).

With just this simple command set it is possible to devise simple games and challenges, here are some examples

1.Camelion Using coloured paper on the arena floor, the challenge is to get Sphero to Stop on each Spot whilst disguising himself in the correct colour.

2.Labyrinth Set up a Labyrinth using cardboard tubes, Sphero must negotiate it, knocking down as few tubes as possible.

3.Skittles With a defined time limit, you must control Sphero to knock down as many cardboard tubes as possible.

I hope you like Sphero-droid, and get the opportunity to play not only with him but also the code that I wrote too.


Please use the issue tracker to let me know about any bugs or feature requests, or alternatively make a pull request.


Copyright 2016 Rick Timmis.

Released under the GPL license.