NEWS$show=/search/label/news

Here's where you'll find all the latest news about technology for children. We love to follow cool new inventions on Kickstarter and we hunt out all the latest announcements about tech toys and gadgets for the coming Christmas holidays. You'll also get our take on children's technology stories in the media.

REVIEWS$show=/search/label/review

Our kids technology product reviews are intended to help you work out whether a toy, gadget or kit is a good fit for your child or family. There's lots of cool stuff available, but is it the right choice for the child or teenager that you are buying for? We'll help you make the right choices and get the best value for money.

GIFT GUIDES$show=/search/label/gift%20guide

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends assemble. We create gift lists to help you make good choices for kids technology which helps them develop the right skills for the future. We research the best in Coding Toys and Games, Making / Craft Tools and Kits, STEM/STEAM related gifts, Programmable Robots, Electronics Kits and Gadgets for Tech Age Kids and Teens.

PROJECTS$show=/search/label/project

Get crafty with technology. Here we'll post all our ideas and projects using technology to get creative and making with kids. You'll find anything from making a lemon battery to a glow-in-the-dark Minecraft sword. Our projects are tried and tested on our own kids or at events we run, so we are sure you can have a go at home with your kids. Some of our projects use specific tech gadgets which we provide links for you to purchase.

Sphero Ollie Hands-On Review - Cool Tricks and Coding



Sphero Ollie is a kids robot that can be controlled to do neat tricks or programmed from a tablet. It's a combination of cool tech toy and educational robot.

My 7 year old son was fascinated by Ollie when he saw the promo video. He requested an Ollie as his Christmas present. We were happy to oblige. Just the sort of toy we love: it promotes active play and develops tech skills.

It can be a bit tricky to work out exactly what Ollie is and what it does so in this review we'll take you through the features and capabilities so that you can work out if it's the right robot for your family.



Overview

Ollie is a cylindrical robot about 12cm long. You can add various different tyres to change the look and handling of Ollie. 

Ollie is controlled by an app on a phone or tablet. There are joystick style controls and a 'trick pad' that uses touch gestures to trigger tricks. 

This robot is very very fast and does cool tricks like spinning on one end and jumping slightly off the floor. It also lights up and changes colour which creates great effects. 

The Ollie App

Honestly I was expecting a bit more from the Ollie app. There's a very basic tutorial and then you use the joystick and trickpad. 

This is very cool and my 7 year old loves it. The app detects when you perform tricks and tells you about them. And there's some help documentation that tells you about the tricks. 

There's potential for much more here. It would be good to see games where you score points for performing tricks and a more interesting story based tutorial. 

Tricks and Courses

The Ollie tricks are pretty impressive. My son loves showing them off to his friends. 

An Ollie Trap!
If you use Ollie indoors you'll need a reasonable amount of space and you'll want to remove anything delicate, especially while kids are still learning how to use the controls. It's very easy to send Ollie crashing really hard into furniture.

Hard floors and carpets both work and you can adjust the settings in the app to get the best behaviour. 

My son loves building courses for Ollie and getting it to climb ramps and knock things over. One of his first projects was an 'Ollie Trap' where he sent Ollie up a ramp a box. 

I love the active play aspect of Ollie. This isn't a robot that you just control from the sofa. Kids will be up and down setting up challenges and tweaking courses. It's great for developing engineering skills too.

Ollie can be used outdoors too. It's not waterproof though so you'll need to keep it dry.  Modern kids sometimes need an incentive to get outdoors and Ollie is fab for this. We've got a trip to a skate park planned for when it's quiet, we wouldn't want to run into other kids with Ollie.

Ollie's lights and speed mean that it's also fantastic in the dark. 

Programming Ollie

Of course, we like to program our robots. Ollie can be programmed using the Sphero SPRK programming lab app.

SPRK uses drag and drop coding to control Ollie. It will feel familiar to children who have used graphical block based languages such as Scratch and Blockly. 

My 7 year old was able to use SPRK immediately. He just needed help with understanding how to set the tail light of Ollie which tells the app which way it's facing. 

Programming Ollie means you have much better control over what it does. 
Ollie can be controlled quite precisely and can come to a halt quickly. We managed to program Ollie to run up this ramp and then stop at the top without falling off:


SPRK includes a set of sample programs which can be accessed if you create free parent and child accounts and log in. You get access to the accelerometer so there's some pretty advanced robotics that kids can do in an accessible environment. The feedback of getting Ollie to do cool stuff when you get something right is a great motivator. 

SPRK also includes an alternative touch interface for controlling Ollie and changing the colour. 

The Tickle and Tynker apps also work with Ollie which gives even more options for coding with familiar tools. 

For older kids and more advanced coders there's also the orbBasic app which offers text based programming and works with Ollie. 

Power and Connectivity

Ollie is rechargeable via a micro USB cable. There's no on button. Ollie turns on automatically when a Bluetooth connection is made. 

Connectivity is via Bluetooth Low Energy. You don't need to pair Ollie manually. The apps detect Ollie based on proximity (so you can use multiple Ollies in the same room.) 

We've occasionally found that we've had to restart an app to get it to detect Ollie, and on one occasion we had to restart the tablet. Pretty normal for Bluetooth devices in our experience. 

Other Apps

The Sphero Draw app also works with Ollie. You can choose a colour and draw a path for Ollie to follow. Shaking the tablet clears the screen. 

The Tynker kids coding app has an example programming that provides on-screen controls for Ollie. This might be simpler to understand than the main app for younger children. 

Conclusion

Ollie is pretty awesome. It's a very cool tech toy with an impressive wow factor. It encourages active play and gets kids solving engineering challenges without realized how hard they're working. And there's plenty of scope for coding. 

You do have to put some effort in to get those benefits though. Some kids might just do a few cool tricks with Ollie and just show them off when friends and visitors come round. 

If you've got a child who will make the most of Ollie or you're willing to steer them in the right direction then you can really get a lot from this robot. 

You get a lot of tech for your money and the variety of programming apps that support Ollie mean that it works well for a range of ages. Children and teens of different ages will be able to use Ollie or the same child will be able to use it in different ways as they get older. 




Name

2013,13,3d printing,5,3DTin,2,accessories,1,activities,1,adafruit,1,adventure games,1,amazon,12,amazon fire,2,amazon prime,1,android,6,angry birds,1,animation,6,anki,1,app,18,app toy,4,app toys,8,appcessories,1,apple,1,apps,25,arcbotics,1,architecture,4,arckit,9,arduino,33,art,1,artificial intelligence,5,astronauts,2,astronomy,1,augmented reality,11,automaton,1,awards,1,battle bots,2,battling robots,2,bedtime,1,big kids,98,big tablets,1,bigtrak,1,bike,1,binary,1,birthday,4,bitsbox,1,black friday,2,blockly,1,blogging,1,bloxels,1,bluetooth,2,board games,7,books,34,boolean box,1,breadboard,2,bricks,1,brixo,1,buying guide,5,camera,4,cameras,1,card game,1,careers,2,catroid,1,celebration,1,cellphone,1,ces,2,chemistry,2,chess,1,christmas,42,circuit cubes,1,circuit playground,8,circuit scribe,10,cleaning,1,climbing,1,code clubs,1,code-a-pillar,1,codebug,1,coder,2,coding,169,cognitive learning,1,communication,1,comparison,1,competition/challenges,9,computational thinking,3,computer,2,computer games,1,computer science,2,computer vision,2,computers,1,computing,1,conductive playdough,2,connected toys,7,construction,40,conversational ai,1,cozmo,1,craft,34,craft cutter,3,creative thinking,1,creativity,3,crochet,1,crowdfunding,119,css,1,cubs,1,curiosity,1,curious chip,1,cyber monday,1,dads,1,data,1,deals,4,dens,2,design,10,design process,1,design thinking,7,digital parenting,2,digital skills,13,disability,1,disney infinity,1,dog tech,1,dolls,2,drawing,2,drones,2,duinokit,1,earth day,1,Easter,4,ebooks,11,eco,1,edblocks,1,edison,5,edtech,1,education,79,egypt,1,electricity,1,electronic pets,2,electronic toys,2,electronics,141,electronics kit,3,electronics kits,1,electtronics,1,elementary,1,elenco,2,energy,1,engineering,17,entertainment,1,ereader,1,ereaders,6,esafety,1,escape the room,1,event,21,ewriter,1,exercise,4,family,12,family tech,2,fathers day,1,Festival of Code,1,fiction,1,fitness tracker,2,flotilla,3,flow charts,1,flutterbye fairy,1,flying,1,force awakens,2,force friday,2,future,2,gadgets,36,games,35,games console,2,games consoles,8,gaming,3,gift guide,53,gifts,12,girls,23,giveaway,4,glow in the dark,1,google,1,grace hopper,1,grove,1,hackaball,2,hacksoton,1,halloween,12,halloween costumes,1,hardware,2,headphones,1,health,1,hexbug,3,hexbug aquabots,1,hexbug project,1,high school,1,history,26,home,1,home education,2,homeschool,4,hot toys,7,hour of code,3,html,4,humanoid,4,ICT,1,in app purchasing,1,indiegogo,13,industry event,9,innotab,5,innotab 3,3,innotab 3s,1,internet access,1,interviews,1,invention,4,ios,3,IoT,4,ipad,7,ipad mini,1,iphone,2,jacquard,1,japan,1,java,1,javascript,5,k'nex,7,k'nex robotics,1,kano,7,keyboard,1,kickstarter,91,kids,3,kindle,5,kindle fire,8,kit,2,kits,5,kodu,1,kubo,1,label printer,1,languages,1,laptop,1,laptops,1,last minute,1,leap motion,1,leapfrog,2,leappad,7,leappad 2,3,leappad ultra,3,leappad2,1,leapreader,1,learning,5,learning resources,5,learning tablet,2,learning tablets,9,leds,2,lego,36,lego boost,1,lego chain reactions,1,lego mindstorms ev3,5,lego power functions,2,lego technic,5,lego wedo,2,let's start coding,1,lights,1,lightseekers,1,little kids,110,littlebits,16,logiblocs,1,logic,3,logical thinking,4,loom,1,machines,1,magnetic,1,make it,2,makeblock,15,makedo,1,maker,6,makey makey,6,making,54,mardles,1,mars,1,mars rover,1,marty,1,math,3,maths,1,mbot,6,mbot ranger,1,me arm,1,meccano,6,meccanoid,5,meccanoid 2.0,1,merge vr,1,mews,1,michael faraday,1,micro:bit,9,microbit,6,microcontroller,5,microscope,1,microsoft,1,middle school,6,miles kelly,1,mindstorms,3,minecraft,21,minecraft mods,1,mixed reality,1,mobile,1,modular electronics,2,monsters university,1,morse code,2,mothers day,4,motion capture,1,motors,2,mover kit,3,movie,1,movies,4,mu,1,mu toys,1,munzee,1,music,10,my first robot,2,national dog day,1,nature,1,new year,1,news,167,news coding,1,nikola tesla,1,nintendo,2,nintendo switch,2,ohbot,3,ollie,3,on the web,1,opinion,19,origami,1,osmo,4,outdoors,13,ouya,1,ozobot,10,papercraft,3,parental controls,2,parenting,34,parrot,1,pc,1,people,8,pet tech,2,pets,3,phone,1,photography,1,photon,1,physics,3,pi day,1,picks,2,pimoroni,1,pinoccio,1,pixel kit,1,pixelart,4,play,2,playstation 4,3,plezmo,1,pocket code,1,pocket money,1,pokemon,4,pokemon go,4,poll,1,pre order,1,pre-teens,1,prehistory,1,preschoolers,41,primary,41,printable,1,products,33,professor einstein,1,programming,15,project,102,projects,11,puzzles,4,python,10,racing,1,raspberry pi,29,reading,12,reivew,1,remote control,1,research,3,resource,34,resources,2,retro,2,review,218,rights,1,robot,10,robot dog,1,robot fish,1,robot wars,3,ROBOTERRA,1,roboticals,1,robotics,31,robots,140,role models,1,role play,1,romo,1,romotive,1,root,1,rover,1,safety,2,sam labs,6,samuel morse,1,sandbox,1,schools,3,science,16,scratch,44,scratchjr,2,screen time,2,screenless,15,screens,1,sensors,5,servos,1,simbrix,7,skills,1,skylanders,3,skylanders superchargers,1,skylanders swap force,1,smart pens,1,smartphone,1,smartwatch,1,snap circuits,2,social media,1,solar power,2,soldering,2,sonic pi,1,sony koov,1,sound,3,space,8,sparki,2,speaker,3,speech sythesis,1,sphero,12,sphero mini,1,spider,2,star wars,6,stars,1,STEAM,1,stem,10,stikbot,1,stop motion,2,stop motion studio,1,storage,1,story,2,strawbees,2,students,1,subscription,5,subscriptions,1,sugru,1,summer,7,swift,1,tablet,2,tablets,23,tangible coding,2,tech,3,tech age,1,tech craft,4,tech is bad,7,tech is good,4,tech toys,21,tech will save us,10,technology,2,technology will save us,3,teens,61,teknikio,3,tekno,1,teksta,1,tenka labs,1,tesla,1,textiles,1,thames & kosmos,2,the extraordinaires,1,tim berners lee,1,tinkercad,1,tinybop,3,toddlers,8,toot-toot,1,top pick,4,touch,1,toy,1,toys,5,travelling,1,TV,1,tween,1,tweens,117,tynker,2,typing,1,ux,1,vehicles,1,videos,3,view-master,1,views,10,virtual reality,8,voice assistants,1,voice recognition,2,vtech,8,web,2,websites,1,wifi,1,wii,2,wii u,2,windows 8,1,wonder workshop,9,wowwee,2,writing,7,writing. education,1,xbox one,2,xyzprinting,1,
ltr
item
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Sphero Ollie Hands-On Review - Cool Tricks and Coding
Sphero Ollie Hands-On Review - Cool Tricks and Coding
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OBAzKbM9JiI/VpVpc4kHjJI/AAAAAAAAAzA/sX6znnBiAeA/s640/sphero-ollie-cool-tricks-coding.png
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OBAzKbM9JiI/VpVpc4kHjJI/AAAAAAAAAzA/sX6znnBiAeA/s72-c/sphero-ollie-cool-tricks-coding.png
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2016/01/sphero-ollie-hands-on-review-cool.html
https://www.techagekids.com/
https://www.techagekids.com/
https://www.techagekids.com/2016/01/sphero-ollie-hands-on-review-cool.html
true
15639169850959392
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy