Like with R2-D2, BB-8, the adorable rolling droid companion that will be appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens this December, was realised as an actual remote control prop on-set, not computer graphics. And just days after the robot was officially revealed on stage at Star Wars Celebration, some brilliant hacker has created a perfect RC replica of their own — although a little smaller in scale.
It’s been rumoured that Orbotix, the company known for its smartphone-controlled RC ball Sphero, actually helped Disney bring BB-8 to life for the movie. So it’s only appropriate that Christian Poulsen hacked apart a Sphero toy to build his BB-8 replica. And the results are really impressive.
If you’re interested in building your own BB-8 — and who isn’t? — Christian has posted a break down on how he hacked and assembled his over on Make, including the use of a CNC milling machine to carve the lightweight head out of foam. And if you haven’t guessed already, the real secret to how BB-8 works is a pair of magnets on the inside and outside of the plastic sphere that keeps the head aligned with the self-righting mechanism on the inside as it rolls about. Amazing. [Make]