After seeing the latest Star Wars movie, you'd struggle to have missed the adorable new robotic character – BB-8. While a small-scale version of the droid was one of the hottest toys over the holiday season, more ambitious fans now have another option, with creator Ed's Junk making his plans for building a full-scale replica freely available.
Ed's Junk has come out with
some interesting home-brewed hardware in the past, most notably a series of portable current-gen consoles, packing the
internals of the Xbox One or PS4 together with an integrated display.
Those chunky machines, named things like the Xbook One and Playbook
4, were certainly interesting, but this new effort has a little more
wow-factor, providing a complete guide to making your very own BB-8
droid at home.
Anyone who took a few hours out at their local theater to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens will certainly be familiar with the new, often amusing little robot called BB-8. Now, Ed's Junk is providing the opportunity for fans to build their very own remote-controlled, life-sized replica of the robotic character, though they'll need some significant know-how to arrive at the finished article. The freely-available design makes use of a single axle running through the middle of the ball with a counterweight at its base, which rolls the ball forward when turned.
The construction processes is quite complex, with much of the robot built from custom-made aluminum pieces, and with various motors and Arduinos needed to get things moving. The head section of the bot – the designs for which were provided by the BB-8 Builders Club over on Facebook – is made from 3D-printed components, and doesn't physically attach to the body, instead making use of powerful magnets to stay in place.
The project will likely be a pretty costly one for anyway interested – both financially and in time spent – with the polycarbonate spherical body alone coming in at US$500. The project's creator is also not quite done with the not-so-little robot, with plans to continually improve the build, working particularly on improving stability while rolling.
Ed's Junk even paid attention to the controller for the replica, creating a small remote with a single thumb stick for controlling movement, alongside controls for head movement and playing audio clips on the back and sides. Its creator calls it a "stealth control," and it's designed for subtly manipulating the robot at public events without anyone really noticing you're doing so.
For an extended look at the little robot, you can check out the video below.
Source: Ed's Junk