The logical sequel, when one has twins remote-controlled car fans, is to have then under his roof teens eager to own one of these new toys connected lovers of speed. Together we hesitated between Sphero 2.0 and Sphero Ollie. There is already a big difference in price (60 USD more for the Sphero 2.0), but it also seems that Ollie is faster.
Thus two small cars (strongly resembling tin cans, but plastic) have landed here.
What do you get when you buy Ollie?
When Ollie is unpacked, the first thing to do is to assemble a few pieces and then mount the colored tires. It will then take 3 hours to use it, ie the time required to charge the battery.
You have to be wary of the many advertising or demo videos. We see Ollie with tires of various colors make figures on a ramp. The basic model is only white with blue tires. Sphero Ollie DarkSide is another model, all in black and sold with three sets of tires, but it is also more expensive.
Therefore, additional spending is required. Good news, Sphero Ollie tires cost only 15 USD (more or less depending on color) and are easy to find. It is more difficult to buy Ollie Spine Ramp (the official name of the ramp) which costs about fifty dollars.
But Ollie is an urban robot and our environment already offers a beautiful playground without the need to invest more. And I think it’s just as effective on country roads.
It is, however, necessary to download the application that allows controlling the robot Ollie. It is available on the App Store and on Google Play and is compatible with iOS version 7.0 (and higher) and Android 4.4 (and higher). When the application is installed, connect the robot with your phone and start playing.
An ultra robust robot
This robot is very resistant. It has been designed in polycarbonate and all the integrated LEDs are inside and therefore protected. The tires are very adherent and also have the role of damping shocks. Thus Ollie can go down the stairs or accompany the young people to the skatepark.
In addition, the connection to the smartphone is via Bluetooth and operates over a distance of up to 30 meters.
It requires dexterity. If the first few days I heard a lot of curses coming from the mouths of each of my sons, after a month, they are rather exclamations of enthusiasm for the prowess of one or the other.
Note finally that I worry more for the smartphones that pass into the hands of buddies who want to try. I’m afraid the moment when Ollie will gracefully descend a ramp and the smartphone will follow it.
A connected toy suitable for everyone?
The sphero Ollie robot does not work without a smartphone. Since children under the age of 12 with their own smartphones are still rare, think carefully about the implications of such a toy. The goal is not to leave him in the closet, but everyone does not want to see his child running around with his phone in hand.
It is rather delicate, although less difficult than with the sphero 2.0. It is all the same a cylinder, without top or bottom, that must be managed to direct.
How much does the sphero Ollie cost?
By the pros, the toy is really durable and the accessories are priced correctly. At 15 USD for a new pair of tires, my sons offered buy from their pocket money without hesitation.
The pros and cons
| The rapidity
The possibility of making figures
Ability to adjust speed
The price of tires
| 3 hours charging after 1 hour of autonomy
Learn patiently to use it
The design too white
As a parent of twins, every toy purchase always worries me a little. Will not I throw my money out the window for a toy that will only be used for two or three days? And now that they are young teenagers, they really hooked up with the ollie. This robot goes down the stairs without worries. He climbs any ramp.
I would also like to add a final recommendation: Ollie is an urban connected toy, not only it can be used at home, I advise you to let your kids go out with it. The more space they have, the more they will benefit!