Introduction: Assistive Sphero Helmet Drive

Follow this instructable and you will be using jedi mind powers to drive your Sphero, the world's first robotic ball controlled from your smartphone!

The original design was created to assist children with physical disabilities that still have moderate neck control and one-switch ability.  However, the adaptation is fun for everyone to use.

The final adaptation can be viewed in this video starting @ 0:28

The benefits of the design is its low cost and the mechanical design supports all phone sizes and shapes.  The down-side is that the mobile app is currently only available for the Android OS.

Step 1: Bill of Materials

Here is the Bill of Materials:

1) Helmet $18 (Walmart)
2) Elastic Band (Medium/Tough Strength) $4
3) Sticky Velcro 3$

That's it!  It's very easy to put together, and if you have to buy ALL the materials (which you probably won't have to do) the total cost won't be more than $25. 


Feel free to use your helmet you have at home, as long as you don't mind it having sticky velcro on each side. Saves you ~$18!

Elastic Band:

Make sure the band is stronger than the average.  You don't want it to be too relaxed, because you want the phone to be securely fastened on top of the helmet. 

If you do not want to pay for the elastic band, make a visit to your local physical therapy office.  I'm sure they would give you one for free, or charge  $1 for about 12"

Sticky Velcro:

You can get this at your local super market for very cheap <$3.  Need at least 2 sets.

Step 2: Adapting the Helmet

Now you are ready to assemble the helmet adaptation.  Velcro has two sides, a soft fuzzy side, and a plastic bristle side.  Simply place the first soft velcro strip on the side of the helmet, and its plastic side on the elastic band near the end, like in the picture. 

Place your phone on the top of the helmet.  Connect the velcro you just attached, and stretch the band over the phone to the other side.  Find the correct tension for your phone to be securely attached to the helmet.  Mark with a sharpie where to place the next velcro set on the elastic band and the helmet.  Using the sharpie mark as reference, place the velcro strips. 

The helmet should now have soft velcro on each side. The elastic band should have plastic velcro on each end. 

Next step you download the mobile app and get rolling!

Step 3: Download and Install the Android App

Note:  The helmet drive software is designed to work with a large button that plugs in to the phone's headphone jack.  It detects buttons presses, which switch between drive, calibrate, and color pick.  If you do not have the button plugged in, then you may make a loud noise in the microphone, or slap the top of your helmet until it switches modes.   

Download and install the Android App here.

Step 4: Enjoy!

You can tap the phone's speaker microphone to change states, or you can build your own physical audio button by following this instructable!

Let me know if you have any issues in the comments!  Thanks and enjoy.