Building OLLO Robots

Geek Culture

The OLLO Action kit is a pretty impressive beginner robot system. It’s got a powerful gearbox motor, an adaptable on/off switch and a plastic rivet system that goes together quickly and stays together. For a $30 set there’s a lot of potential.


The OLLO T-Rex, a two-legged walker, uses driving rods to waggle his arms, too.

But why in the name of Ole Kirk Christiansen isn’t it Lego-compatible? Not only would it be great to blend this in with Legos the way K’Nex does, but then it would also be just a smidge bigger. And that was my problem working with the kit: everything — the holes, the rivets, the pieces — was just a little too small to put together comfortably.


OLLO pieces regrettably use a smaller scale than Lego.

But once together, the robots worked great. The OLLO system really lends itself to cranks and driving rods, meaning its easy to get all four-legs working in unison. After I built the 2-legged T-Rex in the instruction booklet, I evolved it into a four-legged lemur with a nice, stomping gait. (Grainy video here.)

The box says the kit is for ages 8+ and my Geeklets are younger than that, so I haven’t let them build yet. Frankly, even when they hit eight, they may not be ready to plug those tiny rivets in the teeny holes. But the rugged system allows them to play with the robots just fine. In fact I had to do some cajoling to convince them to let me dismantle our first project to try another.

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