When the newest "Star Wars" BB-8 droid rolled across the screen in the therobot geeks everywhere began their search for blueprints and instructions on how to build their own life-sized ball-shaped astromech.
Luckily, none of us have to befriend a gang of Jawas to figure out how to make a BB-8 droid. Over at Make magazine, a group of talented robot builders put together a guide on how to build an open-source full-sized BB-8 robot. Though, to be fair, you do need more than toothpicks and glitter glue to make a realistic-looking BB-8 droid.
Using theas their inspiration, this team of builders used everything from online CAD models to a 3D printer to create all the materials they needed to get the job done.
"A Sphero has a bonded polycarbonate sphere that gives the toy toughness and more importantly seals the internals from dirt and water," the team posted on their Make magazine project page. "This would not be a practical solution for us as providing an induction charger would be difficult and we will likely need to service the mechanism frequently. We needed to devise a sphere that was structurally sound, smooth inside and out, and removable."
The team searched for the perfect material to make the shell of the full-size BB-8 droid. They looked at everything from gumball machines to globe lights and finally decided on hemispheres that were blow-molded from 3/8-inch thick polycarbonate. They are then held together using a simple stud and cam system.
While the working mechanics of the droid have yet to be revealed by the team, Make magazine is splitting up this impressive "Star Wars" DIY project into parts so those of us willing to take on the droid challenge can follow their progress.