What Ollie Is

Ollie is a very fast driving robot. It isn’t particularly large, but this dumb bell shaped robot can shift across the carpet or ground at up to 6.25 metres per second, or 14 miles an hour! It is by some way the fastest robot in the RobotFun collection. When it is active, Ollie’s logo and central stripes light up, and you can change the colour of the lights to be whatever you want them to be. Ollie has interchangeable tyres (blue in these pictures, but other colours are available). You can also swap its hub caps out as well. It is pretty rugged – it would have to be when it is crashed as much as it is. We have 3 Ollies in the RobotFun collection at the moment. Like Sphero and its mates, Ollie was designed by Orbotix in the US.

Driving Ollie

You drive Ollie by making its wheels rotate at different speeds. For example, if you make the wheel on the left rotate slightly slower than the one on the right, the robot drives in an arc to the left. This is similar to how cars are steered, except that because most cars have a single engine you have to use a differential to allow the driven wheels to rotate at different speeds. Its driving motors are directly attached to the wheels, no gearbox or differential is needed. It will spin on the spot really quickly, and because there is a bit of weight inside, eventually it also starts leaping around. It is a total beast of a party robot!

Programming Ollie

Like all the Sphero robots, you program Ollie using an app on a tablet or smartphone, and is fully programmable in three distinct ways. Block programming using Scratch is supported using the Tickle app on an iPad with the appropriate in app purchase. Ollie is also supported by the Sphero Edu app, where you can program it with Sphero’s own version of Scratch, and also using JavaScript.