Disney and Sphero to release a Star Wars BB-8 robotic ball this year (and how to make your own)


bb-8 star wars

Remember the Sphero? It’s a little robotic ball that you can actually control using your Android smartphone or tablet. Not many practical uses for such a thing, but it’s damn cool. For Star Wars geeks, it just got even cooler.

Sphero and Disney have confirmed that the BB-8 robot featured in the latest Star Wars teasers is not CGI. It’s an actual robotic ball that has a physical presence in all the scenes it’s featured in.

That’s cool and all, but an even better fact is that the two sides teamed up to release a special edition of the ball that is designed to look like the round BB-8 robot that will debut in the upcoming 7th Star Wars film (The Force Awakens). Pricing and release information haven’t been revealed, though we’re sure they’ll want it out on time for the film’s planned December 18th release.

That still not doing it for you? What if I told you it was possible to make one yourself? Industrial designer Christian Poulsen did just that by purchasing a readily-available Spheros ball and customizing it.

bb-8 robotic ball

He used your typical paints for the look and feel, though he did have to slice into the robot’s innards to install neodymium magnets to make sure the robot’s head stayed put during its frantic rolling.

bb-8 robotic ball

The paint job isn’t the greatest on his rendition, though he never claimed to be an artist. Be sure to take a look at his step-by-step process in photos over at his website, and if it seems too daunting a task for you then take comfort in the fact that an even better version will be officially available later this year.

[via IGN]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I think Sphero just went from “Why the hell would I want that?” To “Why the hell don’t I have that yet?”

    Always saw it as a waste of a $100 for just a few minutes of fun. Now it will be a collectors item.

  2. I have had a Sphero since day 1 release what, 2 years ago now maybe. Cool little toy. Fun to mess with the dogs with. The moment I saw the SW trailer I thought of my Sphero.

  3. OMG. It kinda sucks to have a level of inside knowledge about this and no ability to talk openly about it. All I can say is, this thing is too awesome and I can’t wait till we start selling it.

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