Monday, 27 July 2015

Our First Sighting of BB-8 - Getting Excited for Star Wars the Force Awakens

BB-8 is one of the new droids in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We're rather lucky because we've already had chance to meet BB-8. Well a clever approximation of the droid anyway. We were at Winchester Science Festival this weekend, representing So Make It, our local maker space. Our friend James from XRobots brought along his BB-8. It really balances and moves and can be remote controlled (see the video later in this post.) My older son was very pleased to get a go at remote controlling BB-8.

BB-8 is a spherical droid with a head that stays on top as the sphere rotates beneath it. It looks like BB-8 will have a similar role to R2-D2 in the original movies.

When James started to build BB-8 the only information available was a very short segment in a teaser trailer.

Since then it has been revealed that there's a real robot BB-8.

Sphero have also been connected to BB-8. Yes, the company behind the cool programmable robot balls. We're looking forward to cute mini BB-8 robots from Sphero.

But there's something pretty cool about a lifesize BB-8 rolling around in front of you. The BB-8 we got to see actually has all the robotics in the head piece and it balances on the ball, a very neat trick.

We're getting very excited about The Force Awakens. We've watched the Star Wars films many times as a family and I remember the first three from my own childhood. The build up has started for the new movie. We're going to rewatch all of the movies over the summer in preparation.

We think BB-8 is going to be hugely popular once the Force Awakens opens in December of this year. It manages to have a classic Star Wars look without being too similar to what has gone before.

If you want to find out how James made his BB-8 droid then head over to his YouTube channel and start with the BB-8 droid prototype part 1. XRobots is a fantastic place to learn about robotics.

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