David Papp Blog

Introducing the app controlled Ollie robot

This new fun toy from Sphero is a simple looking robot that can do ridiculously cool stunts. Ollie can be controlled via an app on your smartphone and at first glance this little robot looks fairly ordinary, but wait until you see it in action.

Ollie is able to do various stunts similar to what skateboarders can do. In fact, the toy itself was named after a particular skateboarding move – the Ollie is a trick wherein the skater performs an aerial stunt with no hands – and it looks as cool as it sounds.

Ollie is predominantly white and has a compact 4.5 x 3.25 inch body. It can be charged with a micro USB charging port.

The app-controlled robot driven by adrenaline

Ollie can run to speeds up to 14 miles per hour and is extremely durable – it’s able to withstand various types of outdoor terrain, allowing for continuous fun. You don’t have to hold back! The Ollie also contains built-in LEDs allowing you to drive it at night.


Tricks and features

The app that comes with it – which you can install on either an Android device or an iPhone – allows you to do all types of tricks with the Ollie. And you don’t need an Internet connection to get your Ollie rolling. You can spin, flip and make the toy jump by using the joystick or the trick pad. Ollie is also customizable. It comes with removable tires and hubcaps, allowing you to distinguish your Ollie from others and to adapt it to particular surfaces.

It also comes with grip tires, allowing you to drift easily and have full control even if you’re going at full speed. You don’t really need to read a manual to get your Ollie to work through the app because the controls are pretty intuitive, allowing you to learn more about how to control the toy better as you go along. What makes this toy stand out is its durability and versatility – whether on smooth or rough surfaces, it can run super-fast within a 30-meter range as it is connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth technology.

Ollie retails for $99. To learn more about this new toy, visit their website.


Official Launch Video

20 thoughts on “Introducing the app controlled Ollie robot”

  1. Oh wow, that looks like fun! I like the fact you can take it anywhere. The range is also quite impressive. I wonder if the battery life is equally good?

    • The stated battery life for the Ollie is 60 minutes of driving time. That’s a pretty phenomenal figure, which might not be accurate in my opinion. That’s likely driving time under perfectly optimal conditions.

  2. Looks pretty interesting – it seems like you’re mostly paying for software as the hardware isn’t that amazing. Given, the battery life is quite nice at an advertised hour..

    The software is where this thing really shines. It appears that most of the “tricks” are macroed to the control scheme so that you can string actions together far more easily than if you were controlling the device directly. I’d be interested to see this applied to quadcopters too.

  3. Can someone please explain to me the benefits of having the controls be via a bluetooth smart phone over using the standard remote control that RC cars, planes, and helicopters have been using for AGES. It seems to me Bluetooth would be far more limiting as there is no chance to boost the signal with a longer antennae. 30 meters is an okay distance, but not phenomenal. Certainly not something I would write home about.

    • There’s no benefits of it being controlled via bluetooth as compared to standard RC’s, but then again if it was the latter there wouldn’t be anything to write home about. It’s just the portability and wow factor that’s the selling point.

      • Your typical smartphone doesn’t have any hardware that supports transmitting and receiving on RC bands. The manufacturer would need to include either an adapter or their own controller for RC to be a feasible option.

    • Likely because Bluetooth makes it a lot easier to adapt to a wide range of mobile devices. How many smartphones do you know of that have RC capabilities?

      Bluetooth lets them utilize the pre-existing hardware on the phone without any sort of addons, reducing the cost of their product because now they only need to have the app access the phone’s Bluetooth rather than designing and sourcing materials for a physical controller.

  4. I think its a cute little gadget to buy when you have some money burning a hole in your pocket. It seems like it’d only entertain you for a short while, though. I also didn’t see too many cool tricks in the video, but hey. I wonder how difficult the iPhone controls are, and how far the iPhone can wirelessly be apart from the Ollie robot before it loses control. I’d probably get something like this for my teen cousin for his birthday, he loves this kind of stuff.

    • Yeah, in my opinion this kind of little gadget is perfect for those who have some spare money, but for people like me (who are on a budget) this robot would never make it to my list. At least not for me, I’d never burn money on something like that for me, but I might consider giving it as a gift to someone I know that would surely love it. I’d of course buy it for a very special occasion.

  5. Kind of expensive for a toy, but makes sense. Anyways, I don’t see much of a difference between this and Sphero, I think they just want to be “new” again. This could be used for some pretty creative ideas though, if I ever come up with something, I’ll surely buy it.

  6. Now, think about this: you take the Ollie, some duct tape and a GoPro. Done! Instant Hollywood chase scenes with, what, $200 – $400?! 😀

  7. Woot this is gonna be fun for both kids and adults, i hope it comes in different sizes and colours. I can’t wait to test out it’s cool features. I will definitely pre-order one today, thank you David!

  8. This is so cool! My favourite feature is that you can take it anywhere. I think it is absolutely crazy the things they are inventing as the years go on. Pretty soon it will be a completely virtual world.

  9. The Ollie is a curious device. I remember when I was a boy fashion were remote controlled cars, this is a step forward since you add the interactivity of a touch screen replacing traditional radio-control with two directions. Interesting.

    Perhaps the next step is to take a Kinect-like control to detect body movements (hand, eye) instead of using the screen.

  10. It looks very cool and I guess I’m going to have to add this to this year’s Christmas shopping list! I continue to be astounded by technology advances in the consumer electronics space and connectivity with Bluetooth etc, and the creation of products that are actually at affordable prices.

  11. This is a cool gift for the kids, if you’re not short on cash, that is. The design is pretty sweet and very appealing to the younger generation. From what I’ve read I can tell that its very responsive and more interestingly, very fast as well. The app control is really what sells it for me. I love gadgets that integrate well with existing gadgets that I already have.

  12. This little robot sounds like the perfect gift for someone I know, but I bet is really expensive, isn’t it? It sounds really cool, if i had the cash (hoping isn’t too expensive, of course) I’d surely go for it and get it for this person. It’s the perfect gift for that one person who loves gadgets and seems to have almost everything. This robot would definitely surprise this one person I have in mind 🙂 Maybe one day 😀

  13. Haha, that’s a neat idea! From what I heard the battery is going to last 60 minutes of only driving, which is really nice for something like this.
    It’s also very cheap for $99 and I’m considering buying it soon!

  14. Impressive! I’ve actually thought some time ago to buy one. I was always a big fan of remote controlled toy cars, and this is just it, but at a whole new level. At the time I saw the clip last spring I was ready to start getting money for one, but my father talked me out of it. I still find it really cool, though and I’d love one.

  15. I really liked this one, it seems to be a really entrataining toy for well, almost everybody. It also looks really practical and It’s great that there are no limits when it comes to on what surfaces it can be used. I’m actually impressed by the fact that I haven’t heard a lot about this one, it looks extremely cool!

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