Ollie the robot comes in blimp form, with a child’s mentality

by Mark R

The other day, we reported on some telepresence robots that were essentially miniature blimps that fly around with someone’s head on it, and I equated the floating heads with something rather dystopian.

I now see a utopian age full of Ollie, a blimp who has been given the emotional range of a shy baby. There is a video after the jump, and you can see that Ollie is somewhat curious, and flaps its little fins when someone claps for it. It’s like a fish that has been given the ability to fly instead of swim, and breathe air, too.

It is an open source project that is designed by Parson’ grade Pritika Nilaratna, and it can be yours if you are willing to copy some code and assemble the lighter-than-air body.

Man, I tell you, if I knew anything about coding, and I had a bunch of helium filled apparatuses around, I would make a bunch of Ollies. Then I would have them float about the room, as if my room were one giant fish tank. If I had a tall ceiling, I would lay on my back and watch it like a mid-air aquarium.

Yeah, I think that Ollie is pretty cute. Maybe I don’t want my robots to have any more A.I. than this, but that’s just me.

Ollie from Pritika Nilaratna on Vimeo.


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