Maker hacks a Sphero into a mini Star Wars BB-8

Well, it didn’t take too long before a Star Wars fan created his own working BB-8 droid.

By now, it’s a safe assumption that many of you have already seen the initial trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If so, then you, like countless others, have probably fallen in love with BB-8 — a cute robot that was unveiled during both the teaser and an onstage presentation at the Star Wars Celebration. If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for?


When industrial designer Christian Poulsen first laid eyes on the adorable ball rolling around, it didn’t take long before he realized that he ’needed’ to build one of his own. The Maker was able to accomplish this feat by sawing an AVR powered Sphero 1.0 in half with a hacksaw, using polyurethane foam surfaced with spackle for its head, and adding a neodymium magnet disc to connect the two. From there, the only other thing left was to don its exterior with an empire-approved paint job.


Not only did Poulsen complete the project it in a day, he can also drive his BB-8 via Bluetooth using his smartphone’s Sphero app. While the droid may be remote-controlled, the Maker says it does note that it indeed has a mind of its own. Since the newly-attached head will cause an unbalance to the Sphero’s built-in gyroscopes, BB-8 will only be able to travel in one direction unless you give it a helpful push.


“Because it’s now more top-heavy and tends to lean, the gyroscope will try to correct the lean, and it will keep on rolling in whatever direction it’s pushed,” Poulsen notes.

Don’t lie, you know you love this BB-8. If you want one of your own, head over to the Maker’s step-by-step guide on MAKE: Magazine and get making! While not too much has been said around Sphero’s involvement in the actual BB-8’s creation, Lucasfilm’s president Kathleen Kennedy did mention the Boulder, Colorado-based startup in a recent Fortune Magazine interview.

2 thoughts on “Maker hacks a Sphero into a mini Star Wars BB-8

  1. Pingback: Creating a BB-8 ball-balancing robot | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  2. Pingback: Creating an elaborate BB-8 ball-balancing robot | Atmel | Bits & Pieces

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s