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The Sphero Lab

We traveled to Boulder, Colorado, to tour the Sphero lab. This is where all the company's droids are developed, prototyped, soldered and painted.

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Our tour guide

Adam Wilson, co-founder of Sphero, shows us around the lab. 

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The welcome party!

The tour started with this galactic trio. "These are all of our little life-size Star Wars droids. Of course, the BB-8 one is the star of the show, because that was our first one we made," Wilson says.

This life-size BB-8 actually works.

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Where the magic happens

"This is where everything's made. So not only development, prototyping, but ... we paint, we do soldering, we do 3D printing," says Adam.

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The Sphero Museum

The evolution of Sphero's droids.

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The evolution of BB-8

These versions show how the little rolling droid evolved. 

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Lightning McQueen

Sphero also made an animatronic model of Lightning McQueen from Cars. This is how it looks without the flashy finish.

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The inside look

Here we can see the electronics hiding under the models' shells.

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Optimus Prime

This is the Optimus Prime conference room. Yes, those racing car chairs were custom made for this room. They're super comfy.

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The Peacekeeper

That big ball you see in the corner is called the Peacekeeper.  It's 3 feet in diameter and it works just like Sphero's smaller balls.

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Peacekeeper Edition

Sphero likes to do pranks around April Fools' Day and this is one of the best ones. You can watch a video of lions playing with the 150-pound Peacekeeper.

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Adam's toys

This is Adam's desk. As you can see, he's a droid aficionado.

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The paint booth

This space was specially created for the Sphero team to safely paint their prototypes.

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The paint booth

A special ventilation system lets you to stay in this enclosed area and paint safely.

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The electronics lab

Sphero does 99 percent of its soldering under a microscope in this lab, which has its own ventilation system.

They made the Bolt and Sphero mini in this space.

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Manual labor

They make these pieces by hand under the microscope.

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Microscopic pieces

Believe it or not, these tweezers are holding a tiny piece used to make the Sphero droids. It looks like a speck of dust.

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The electrostatic testing table

"This is probably the worst station for any robot to come upon," according to Adam. On this metal table the droids are shocked to make sure they won't generate electricity after all the spinning.

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The gun

This is the ESP gun that hits the little droids with around 50,000 volts.

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Roland MDX-50 Benchtop CNC Mill

This is the CNC machine used to create highly complex multisided prototypes and finished parts. 

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3D-printed little heads

This over has turned into a collection of BB-8 and BB-9E heads.

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R2-D2 gears

They print these gears that are part of the R2-D2 droids. The snap out but some of the pieces need a bit of extra work.

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Droids in the making

We ran into little pieces of droids in different parts pf the lab.

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The photo studio

Sphero also has its own photo studio for taking product shots of its robots.

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Play time!

And you can't visit the lab without a fun droid race. Adam raced CNET editor Lexy Savvides using the Sphero Mini's facial driving mode.

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The race

CNET's video producer John Kim and senior producer Mariel Mayers film the droid race. 

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