Instructions for making Ollie

Ollie is a DIY autonomous robotic blimp who is vulnerable, socially awkward and yearns for attention. Ollie has wings that allow him to fly and a microphone that allows him to listen. In this tutorial I will teach you how to make Ollie so you can meet him too.

You may also read my instructable here.

Please contribute suggestions, experiments, tweaks, hacks and discoveries of your own process. Thank you!

Jump to these links at anytime:

Part-1 Making the Wings
Part-2 Adding Micriphone and LED
Part-3 Tips for Pro Users


The main parts needed are :

Additional items

  • Arduino Uno or other (for testing)
  • Breadboard
  • 22 or 24 guage wire
  • Lightweight tape
  • Small weighing scale
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Quick-setting Epoxy
  • Glue gun
  • Playdoh or clay
  • Small cups
  • Cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Wire wrapping tool

Continue to Making the Wings


  1. Pablo

    …… lol i want 1 and oh yeah u can put this on as a charger and get a smaller battery >

  2. Mike

    It looks awesome. Now to find the parts in South Africa……

  3. WarrenSensei

    Is there a source for balloon envelopes with one or both sides clear instead of silvered? Or translucent even better… I want to make it glow…!

  4. Emilie

    I just started dipping my fingers in robotics and this project has simply delighted me! Thank you for the inspiration and sharing :-)

  5. Get Real - Pet blimp? I think yes.

    [...] Link to the instructions page shown in the video. [...]

  6. Mark

    I think it will be really awesome to coat the balloon with flexible solar cells so you may never need to charge it. Flexible solar cells are not heavy at all.

  7. Hi, das ist Olli | Nicht Nur Nerds

    [...] Olli ist ein wenig aufdringlich, sucht nach Aufmerksamkeit und ganz nebenbei ein relativ g

  8. Ollie, the socially awkward robot |

    [...] Nilaratna, who has licensed Ollie under a Creative Commons License and freely gives away the instructions to make your own socially awkward [...]

  9. Ollie, il social stalker | Lega Nerd

    [...] il proprio Ollie con Arduino, alcuni servi, una busta di palloncini in Mylar e le istruzioni sul sito ufficiale di Ollie.Mostra Approfondimento ▼Romper

  10. Ray Romanini

    I am 84 and spend a several afternoons at a local hospital and spend time with the patients. Checkers, cards and help with puzzles.

    Olie would be a wonderful item to get smiles!!

    My eyes are not the gretaest and would have a problem assembling Olie.

    Can I buy Him ready to go?


  11. Paul Citro

    Give Ollie eyes and mouth. It would make him look much more lovable!

  12. Ray Romanini

    I am 84 with lousy eyesight. Can any one bulid me Olie . I would like to use him to help me entertain hospital patience. Please help me..


  13. Luvnit Sawhney

    This is rad ! MAD PROPS ! ! ! no to find the parts in INDIA

  14. Brian VK

    Very cool! I finally received the bulk of Ollie’s parts in the mail and am about to try my hand at building. WarrenSensei, I too like the idea of a glowing Ollie. I’m going to try adding a multicolor LED and driving it in the Arduino code. Maybe have Ollie change color based on noise? Teal when Ollie is just floating along, green when Ollie hears a noise, maybe red when the noise is loud? I’ll let you know how it goes.

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