Robotics

You can now build your own full-sized, remote-controlled BB-8 bot

You can now build your own ful...
A new, freely-available guide allows anyone to build their own BB-8 droid, providing they have the time, funds and skills for the job
A new, freely-available guide allows anyone to build their own BB-8 droid, providing they have the time, funds and skills for the job
View 5 Images
A new, freely-available guide allows anyone to build their own BB-8 droid, providing they have the time, funds and skills for the job
1/5
A new, freely-available guide allows anyone to build their own BB-8 droid, providing they have the time, funds and skills for the job
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
2/5
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 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
3/5
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
The head section of the robot – 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
4/5
The head section of the robot – 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 – both financially and in time spent – with the polycarbonate spherical body alone coming in at US$500
5/5
The project will likely be a pretty costly one – both financially and in time spent – with the polycarbonate spherical body alone coming in at US$500

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 withsome interesting home-brewed hardware in the past, most notably a series of portable current-gen consoles, packing theinternals of the Xbox One or PS4 together with an integrated display.Those chunky machines, named things like the Xbook One and Playbook4, were certainly interesting, but this new effort has a little morewow-factor, providing a complete guide to making your very own BB-8droid at home.

Anyone who took a few hours out attheir local theater to watch Star Wars: The ForceAwakens will certainly be familiar with the new, often amusinglittle robot called BB-8. Now, Ed's Junk is providing the opportunityfor fans to build their very own remote-controlled, life-sized replica ofthe 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 theball with a counterweight at its base, which rolls the ball forwardwhen turned.

The project will likely be a pretty costly one – both financially and in time spent – with the polycarbonate spherical body alone coming in at US$500
The project will likely be a pretty costly one – both financially and in time spent – with the polycarbonate spherical body alone coming in at US$500

The construction processes is quitecomplex, with much of the robot built from custom-made aluminumpieces, and with various motors and Arduinos needed to get thingsmoving. The head section of the bot – the designs for which wereprovided by the BB-8 Builders Club over on Facebook – is made from3D-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 prettycostly one for anyway interested – both financially and in time spent – with thepolycarbonate spherical body alone coming in at US$500. The project'screator is also not quite done with the not-so-little robot, withplans to continually improve the build, working particularly onimproving stability while rolling.

Ed's Junk even paid attention to thecontroller for the replica, creating a small remote with a singlethumb stick for controlling movement, alongside controls for headmovement and playing audio clips on the back and sides. Its creatorcalls it a "stealth control," and it's designed for subtlymanipulating the robot at public events without anyone really noticingyou're doing so.

For an extended look at the little robot, you can check out the video below.

Source: Ed's Junk

Eds BB-8 - An In Depth Look at Building

2 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is way cool.
socalboomer
James Bruton's BB8 version 2 is really a lot cooler. He's working on version 3, but his version 2 is really well thought out and well built. I'm more impressed with his than with Ed's. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpwJoq86vov8Tfr2-JUcma3lO0mLid_FX