Today, Orbotix (the makers behind Sphero) is introducing its second robot alongside the circular Sphero to go faster and jump higher. Folks, meet the Ollie by Sphero.
Originally called the 2B, the Ollie can go about 2x faster than the Sphero, which is shaped like a ball. The Ollie has a 30-meter range, and alongside the ability to go much faster than the Sphero, users are also able to drive around the Ollie with generally more control than previous robotic generations.
This is thanks in large part to the tubular design of the Ollie as compared to the sphere of Sphero.
The Ollie is meant to do tricks, such as perform a jump or spin up onto its side. As you start to use Ollie with your smartphone, you’ll go through the process of learning and completing various tricks.
Not unlike the Sphero, Ollie has LED lights built right in allowing for the Ollie to communicate with you as you play. For example, when you do a certain trick, the Ollie may change colors. When you slam on the brakes to stop, the Ollie will turn red, for instance.
However, the Ollie has some notable benefits over Sphero. For one, it’s much easier to drive. Secondly, the Sphero is customizable, letting you buy special wheel covers for various types of driving (off road, race, etc) and even letting you 3D print your own customized hub caps. Of course, you can buy all kinds of jump ramps and other customization-focused accessories with the Ollie.
According to the company, the Sphero Ollie will last about an hour on a single charge.
The Ollie is available now for $99 pre-order, with shipments heading out on September 15.
TechCrunch Plays With The Sphero Ollie At CES 2014