Ollie, the socially awkward robot

OllieIf I say ‘robot’, what’s the first image that springs to mind? Most people visualize R2D2, C3PO, the Man-Machine from Metropolis or ASIMO, the Honda Walking Robot. Maybe even a Roomba. I am willing to bet the image of a mylar balloon with flapping “wings” did not figure highly in your mental model of what a robot looks like.

How about behavior? Is “socially awkward” a term you associate with robotics? OK, I’ll give you that C3PO was indeed a social disaster. Ollie is both socially awkward and a mylar balloon with flapping wings. He’s also as charming as a balloon robot can get. Ollie is the brainchild and creation of Pritika Nilaratna, who has licensed Ollie under a Creative Commons License and freely gives away the instructions to make your own socially awkward robot.