Orbotix Misses Holiday Shipment Target

In a letdown to fans, Boulder-based Orbotix, the maker of the Sphero robotic ball, told its pre-order customers and fans Wednesday that it would miss its ship date for this holiday, and would be unable to deliver most of the pre-orders for the device before the holidays. In a note from Paul Berberian, posted to the firm's blog, orbotix said that "only a handful" of units will be fulfilled before the holidays, and that the majority of orders for the robotic ball will be fulfilled in January. Orbotix had been aggressively pushing pre-orders of the device--a robotic ball which could be controlled and programmed via smartphones like the iPhone and Android--since June. Berberian said that the firm "simply underestimated the number of units we'd need to make" and "miscalculated" the time it would take to bring up a production line for the devices. In an effort to mitigate the disappointment by customers, Sphero said it will provide free, expedited shipping on the devices when they are ready, and will provide a free Sphero t-shirt and a holiday card as a placeholder, until the real units arrive.