Connection Troubleshooting

Updated 1 month ago by Micah Daby

On occasion you may have a connection failure in the Sphero Edu app. The following content is intended to inform and help solve common issues while connecting.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

Below are all the BLE Sphero robots supported in the Sphero Edu app:

  • Sphero RVR
  • Sphero BOLT
  • Sphero SPRK+
  • Sphero Mini
  • BB-8
  • BB-9E
  • R2-D2
  • R2-Q5

BLE Troubleshooting

Powering On

All Sphero robots need to be "powered on" before they can be connected in the Sphero Edu app. Below are instructions for powering on each Sphero robot:

  • Sphero RVR: To power RVR on, the removable battery must first be charged. The battery bay is located on RVR's left side and is accessible by opening the battery door with the RVR key (included with every RVR). After the battery is charged, it must be placed in the battery bay and the battery bay door must be securely closed with the RVR key. Unlike BOLT or Mini, RVR has a physical power button located on its right side. Press the button to power on RVR before connecting in the app.
  • Sphero BOLT, Sphero SPRK+: Ensure the charging base is plugged in via a micro USB cable. Place the BOLT or SPRK+ in the charging base. You will see the LED's on the BOLT or SPRK+ light up when they are on and ready to be connected. You may need to reposition the robot slightly to make sure the charging base is properly contacting the robot if the LEDs don't light up.
  • Sphero Mini: Pinch the seam on the shell and pop the shell off of Mini. Plug a micro USB cable into the port on the Mini and plug the other end into a power source. Your Mini is powered on when you see the LEDs turn on.
  • BB-8, BB-9E: Ensure the charging base is plugged in via a micro USB cable. Place the BB-8 or BB-9E in the charging base. You will see the LED's on the BB-8 or BB-9E light up when they are on and ready to be connected. You may need to reposition the robot slightly to make sure the charging base is properly contacting the robot if the LEDs don't light up.
  • R2-D2, R2-Q5: Observe the micro USB port on the back of the R2-D2 and R2-Q5 robots. Plug a micro USB cable into the port on the R2-D2 or R2-Q5 and plug the other end into a power source. Your R2-D2 or R2-Q5 is powered on when you see the LEDs turn on.
Location Permissions

You may notice that your Android device asks for "Location Permissions" when you start the app and attempt to connect to a robot. Don't worry! We aren't tracking your location or private information. Location Permissions are required since Android 6.0 if an app is using what is called "course" or "fine" location data. On Android, scanning for BLE enabled robots and calculating how far away they are is considered a use of "coarse" location data. You can get geeky and learn about this OS level change here.

Connection Failures

On occasion the Sphero Edu app will fail to connect to your robot. Here are some things to think about if you are having issues connecting:

  • Interference: Depending on your environment, there may be interference that's causing some challenges when connecting. Here are some things to think about:
    • If you have multiple Sphero robots, or other Bluetooth devices, then think about moving the robot you are attempting to connect to away from the others before attempting to connect. This can help ensure a more reliable connection.
    • Certain building materials can cause interference. Metal structures or concrete can occasionally compound connection issues. Try moving around and connecting from a different location in the room or building you are in.
  • Hardware: Not all phones or computers have the same bluetooth hardware. We've optimized the app to work with the most common devices, but there are some edge cases. It can be a good idea to try connecting with another device to isolate if the hardware you are using is having a hard time connecting to our robots.
  • Critical battery: It's a good idea to make sure your battery is charged before attempting to connect. The app may disconnect from the robot if the battery level is too low. You'll know your robot has a critical battery if it has LEDs that are flashing red. Time to charge!
  • Resetting Bluetooth: There's a lot of code that goes into making an awesome Bluetooth connection happen. Sometimes things get a little weird or stuck. If you run into connection issues, it may be a good idea to disable then re-enable Bluetooth before connecting in the Sphero Edu app.
  • Restarting Sphero Edu: On rare occasion Sphero Edu may get a little confused when communicating with your mobile device or computer. A quick restart of the app can sometimes help improve connection.
No Luck?

We encourage you to contact us at support@sphero.com if you are still having connection woes. We may be able to help determine if there's an issue with your robot or device.

Classic Bluetooth

Below are all the Classic Bluetooth Sphero robots supported in the Sphero Edu app:

  • Sphero 2.0*
  • Sphero SPRK*

*Sphero 2.0 and Sphero SPRK are not supported on the Windows release of Sphero Edu. Learn more about compatibility here.

Pairing

iOS
  • Remove Sphero 2.0/SPRK from the Induction Charger.
  • Shake Sphero awake. A double tap will usually work. 
    • Your Sphero will flash 3 consecutive colors when it is awake and ready to pair. 
  • Access iOS Bluetooth settings. 
    • Go to "Settings" then "Bluetooth".
    • Make sure Bluetooth is enabled.
  • Wait for the device to detect Sphero.
    • The name of your Sphero robot will match the flashing colors of your Sphero. For example, Sphero-RYW means that your Sphero will be flashing red, yellow, and white. 
  • When your Sphero is detected, select it for pairing.
    • Pairing usually takes less than 30 seconds, but it can take up to 2 minutes.
    • Your Sphero will glow white once it is paired to your iOS device. 
    • Occasionally you will need to try pairing more than once.
  • Once your Sphero is paired, connect to it in Sphero Edu.
Android OS
  • Remove Sphero 2.0/SPRK from the Induction Charger.
  • Shake Sphero awake. A double tap will usually work. 
    • Your Sphero will flash 3 consecutive colors when it is awake and ready to pair. 
  • Access Android OS Bluetooth settings. Depending on the Android device, Bluetooth controls may be in different locations in settings. 
    • Check "Settings -> Connections -> Bluetooth" or "Settings -> Bluetooth". These are common locations. 
    • Make sure Bluetooth is enabled.
  • Wait for the device to detect Sphero.
    • The name of your Sphero robot will match the flashing colors of your Sphero. For example, Sphero-RYW means that your Sphero will be flashing red, yellow, and white. 
  • When your Sphero is detected, select it for pairing.
    • Pairing usually takes less than 30 seconds, but it can take up to 2 minutes.
    • Occasionally you will need to try pairing more than once.
  • Once your Sphero is paired, connect to it in Sphero Edu
Fire OS
  • Remove Sphero 2.0/SPRK from the Induction Charger.
  • Shake Sphero awake. A double tap will usually work. 
    • Your Sphero will flash 3 consecutive colors when it is awake and ready to pair. 
  • Access Fire OS Bluetooth settings. 
    • Check "Settings -> Wireless & Bluetooth".
    • Tap "Bluetooth" and make sure Bluetooth is "turned on".
    • Tap the "Pair a Bluetooth Device" button.
  • Wait for the device to detect Sphero.
    • The name of your Sphero robot will match the flashing colors of your Sphero. For example, Sphero-RYW means that your Sphero will be flashing red, yellow, and white. 
  • When your Sphero is detected, select it for pairing.
    • Pairing usually takes less than 30 seconds, but it can take up to 2 minutes.
    • Occasionally you will need to try pairing more than once.
  • Once your Sphero is paired, connect to it in Sphero Edu.
Windows

Sphero 2.0 and Sphero SPRK are not supported on the Windows release of Sphero Edu. Learn more about compatibility here.

macOS
  • Remove Sphero 2.0/SPRK from the Induction Charger.
  • Shake Sphero awake. A double tap will usually work. 
    • Your Sphero will flash 3 consecutive colors when it is awake and ready to pair. 
  • Access macOS Bluetooth settings. 
    • Check "System Preferences -> Bluetooth" and make sure Bluetooth is on.
  • Wait for the device to detect Sphero in the "devices" panel.
    • The name of your Sphero robot will match the flashing colors of your Sphero. For example, Sphero-RYW means that your Sphero will be flashing red, yellow, and white. 
  • When your Sphero is detected, select it for pairing.
    • Pairing usually takes less than 30 seconds, but it can take up to 2 minutes.
    • Occasionally you will need to try pairing more than once.
  • Once your Sphero is paired, connect to it in Sphero Edu.
Chromebook
  • Remove Sphero 2.0/SPRK from the Induction Charger.
  • Shake Sphero awake. A double tap will usually work. 
    • Your Sphero will flash 3 consecutive colors when it is awake and ready to pair. 
  • Access macOS Bluetooth settings. 
    • Check "Settings -> Bluetooth" and make sure Bluetooth is on.
  • Click the Bluetooth panel to open it and see paired and unpaired devices.
    • The name of your Sphero robot will match the flashing colors of your Sphero. For example, Sphero-RYW means that your Sphero will be flashing red, yellow, and white. 
  • When your Sphero is detected in the "unpaired" list, select it for pairing.
    • Pairing usually takes less than 30 seconds, but it can take up to 2 minutes.
    • Occasionally you will need to try pairing more than once.
  • Once your Sphero is paired, connect to it in Sphero Edu.


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