Meet OllieTuesday, November 18, 2014
There has been a recent addition to our family. Friends, meet Ollie. You may have seen his cousin causing up quite a stir last year. His name is Sphero. Both Ollie and Sphero are a remarkable breed of robot. Like Sphero, Ollie is controlled remotely using an app you can download onto your smart phone or tablet. While Spero is a fairly well-rounded robot and can swim in water, Ollie puts him to shame on the racetrack. Engineered for speed, programmed for tricks and driven by adrenaline, nothing quite compares to Ollie the speed-demon.
So how fast are we talking here? Over three times as fast as Spero! Reaching speeds of over 14 MPH, Ollie leaves the average toy in the dust. You would think it would roll out of control given the speed but it is actually quite agile thanks to its totally tubular design. The best part? You can easily customize the tires and hubcaps using a variety of combinations and colours. Each Ollie comes with a base bot, fixed wheel rims, a set of removable tires and removable hubs. It also comes with a USB charging cord. The tires provide ultra grip for hard cornering but you could easily remove them and turn Ollie into a super drift machine.
Within a matter of minutes, I had assembled our robot and downloaded the app onto my new LG G3 smart phone. Communicating via Bluetooth, the phone or tablet connects instantly with Ollie and acts as a remote, kind of like a joystick. Turn your device sideways to enter tricks mode and enjoy the light show courtesy of the built-in LED's.
Ollie's durable shell has been designed to withstand crashing so it is a great toy for kids and adults alike to enjoy outdoors. You can adjust the type of terrain as well as the speed limit using the settings on the app. With these adjustments, we have been playing with Ollie indoors on our main floor and use furniture as obstacles to steer around. We particularly enjoy turning off the lights and watching Ollie glow in the dark. It can get a little loud but it's good to know it has an hour of drive time before requiring a charge.
On a side note, our family recently watched Big Hero 6 in which the main character loves to build robots. I have a feeling that this movie will be very popular among kids and robots will be making the top of holiday wish lists this year. Just sayin'.
Ollie retails for $99.99 and is available for purchase on gosphero.com. While you're there, be sure to check out the video featuring some impressive tricks.