Sphero shrinks its toy robot in size and price — and the new Mini runs on smiles and winks

Engineers from Boulder toy maker Sphero have not only shrunk its signature round robot into one about half the size of the original sphere, the new Sphero Mini responds to facial expressions.

Users can now smile, frown, wink or or nod their head to control the rolling robot via the “Face Drive” feature in the related mobile app. The technology uses a smaller accelerometer and gyroscope. But unlike the original, Mini has an outer shell that must come off in order to charge it the toy, measuring about 1.6-inches in diameter.