Eduporium Experiment | Ollie

  • Posted on: January 31, 2018 - 6:00am
  • By: anna

We know that there might be a lot of teachers who feel their students are experienced with SPRK+ and want the next best thing. Well, the Ollie robot can flip, spin, and perform combinations of tricks to keep all students engaged! Programmable and drivable just like the SPRK+, Ollie will up students’ robotics skills to the next level. Ollie is a tough robot that can withstand super speed (up to 14 MPH!), rough crashes, and various terrains with its nubby tires and prime hubs. No tires? Students can use their innovation skills to help Ollie drift like a pro on smooth surfaces. No jump ramps? They can build their own obstacles to launch Ollie off!

Ollie is ridiculously durable, with a polycarbonate body protecting its internal features. It comes in two versions – white, and black – with the black one known as Darkside. Darkside is a special edition Ollie and is capable of some different tricks, but is otherwise the same. In the Ollie box, students will find Ollie, two nubby tires, two prime hubs, a USB charging cable, and a quick start guide. Ollie is compatible with most iOS and Android devices using the Ollie app (for driving) and Sphero Edu app (for programming). Students can learn how to perform numerous tricks with Ollie by modifying their handling within the Ollie app, or by programming Ollie with the Draw, Blocks, or Text environments within the Sphero Edu app.

Deciding between Ollie and Sphero SPRK+ can be kind of challenging, so here are some similarities and differences to keep in mind. Both are app-controlled and Bluetooth-enabled. Ollie takes one hour to charge fully for one hour of constant play and charges by use of a USB charging cable, whereas SPRK+ takes three hours to charge for one hour of constant play and charges on an inductive charging base. Both are built for various terrains and have compatible shells and tires for protection. Although students can program both robots, due to SPRK+’s waterproof and clear shell, SPRK+ is known as Sphero’s complete educational robot and Ollie is known as their robotic racer because of its intense speed and crazy cool tricks.

As opposed to SPRK+’s ball shape, Ollie is cylindrical and runs on two wheels. Ollie weighs in at 8.5 ounces, has a height of 4.7 inches, and a length of 3.2 inches. It also has great adjustability and better acceleration and handling than the SPRK+ model. To connect a compatible device, all students have to do is make sure their Bluetooth is turned on and touch their device to Ollie to connect instantly. I found the Ollie app to be thrilling for going high speeds and spinning out, whereas the Sphero Edu app has enormously more educational value in its ability to program Ollie in three different formats depending on skill level. However, due to its high speeds, we recommend having a large space (cleared of breakables) when using Ollie.

Ollie is designed for those students who want to take robot control to the next level. To purchase one for your makerspace, classroom, or home, click here to visit the Eduporium store. Also, look out next Wednesday for the newest edition of the Eduporium Experiment! In the meantime, don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more, check out other cool robotics tools in our store, and you might as well like us on Facebook, too!

Image: © Sphero