Word around the outer rim is Ortobix, the company behind the Sphero robotic ball, helped create the rolltastic BB-8 Droid from the upcoming Star Wars movie. And ever since BB-8 rolled across the stage at last week’s Star Wars convention, I’ve wanted one. Well, someone with a bit more gumption than I hacked together a tiny BB-8 from a Sphero and it’s fantastic.
From the instructions on MAKE, the process doesn’t seem difficult. Essentially you need to split a Sphero in half using a hacksaw and glue a strong magnet to the inside of the casing. From there, one simply needs to fabricate a head from something lightweight such as foam and embed a magnet on the bottom. Then, after a bit of spit and polish, you too can have your own rolling drone.
Sphero has so far been tight-lipped about its involvement in BB-8’s creation. In an interview with Fortune, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy mentions that BB-8’s technology comes from a Boulder, Colorado-based company — and Sphero is based in Boulder, Colo. However, since part of the Star Wars’ mission is to sell merchandise, it’s completely conceivable to envision Sphero releasing a rolling BB-8 drone alongside the holiday launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.