Boulder-based Sphero, which made this R2-D2 toy, is laying off employees.

Sphero to lay off 45 employees globally

BOULDER — Sphero Inc. is laying off 45 employees globally as the Boulder-based robotics company turns to focusing on its own intellectual property.

Most of the layoffs will take place at its Colorado headquarters, although a spokesperson for the company could not specify how many of the 45 employees being laid off were in Boulder. In December, the company had about 170 employees globally, most based in Colorado.

Although Sphero has risen to fame making Star Wars-themed app-enabled droids, like its functional BB-8, the company’s plan for 2018 is to focus on its educational segment.

“We’re excited to get back to our own IP,” said Claire Tindall, senior director of marketing and communications for Sphero. “We’re developing our own products and experiences.”

That includes what Sphero is doing in the education business, like its SPRK+ robot, designed to teach young users how to program and code.

“They’re used in a variety of ways in the classroom, but there’s a ‘living room’ component as well, where these products also do well with traditional retail, direct to consumers,” Tindall said. “Our education products continue to grow year over year and it’s a great opportunity for us. We plan to focus on more creative play experiences. When some think of education, they might think of textbooks or other boring things. What we’re doing is the polar opposite.”

Sphero announced in June that it was splitting into two companies, with its spinoff Misty Robotics focusing on personal robots for the home and office.

 

BOULDER — Sphero Inc. is laying off 45 employees globally as the Boulder-based robotics company turns to focusing on its own intellectual property.

Most of the layoffs will take place at its Colorado headquarters, although a spokesperson for the company could not specify how many of the 45 employees being laid off were in Boulder. In December, the company had about 170 employees globally, most based in Colorado.

Although Sphero has risen to fame making Star Wars-themed app-enabled droids, like its functional BB-8, the company’s plan for 2018 is to focus on its educational segment.

“We’re excited to get back to our own IP,” said Claire Tindall, senior director of marketing and communications for Sphero. “We’re developing our own products and experiences.”

That includes what Sphero is doing in the education business, like its SPRK+ robot, designed to teach young users how to program and code.

“They’re used in a variety of ways in the classroom, but there’s a ‘living room’ component as well, where these products also do well with traditional retail, direct to consumers,” Tindall said. “Our education products continue to grow year over year and it’s a great opportunity for us. We plan to focus on more creative play experiences. When some think of education, they might think of textbooks or other boring things. What we’re doing is the polar opposite.”

Sphero announced in June that it was splitting into two companies, with its spinoff Misty Robotics focusing on personal robots for the…