Watch a Step-By-Step Demonstration for Building a DIY Life-Size BB-8

Friday, 29 January 2016 - 9:52AM
Friday, 29 January 2016 - 9:52AM

Star Wars fans were delighted when they found out they could own their own app-controlled miniature version of BB-8 from Sphero just in time for Christmas. But what if you could have the same thing, only life-size and for cheaper? 17-year-old Angelo Casimiro just posted a full demonstration of how to build your very own adult-sized BB-8, using only materials you can find lying around the house.

In the above video, Casimiro lays out how to build the BB-8 using only household materials and Arduino circuitry. Like the Sphero, it consists of a gyroscopically balanced body with a magnet on top, motor and batteries at the bottom, and a Styrofoam head with a magnetic base and passive rollers.


All in all, the materials cost Casimiro $120, as opposed to Sphero's $150. And this way, you get a BB-8 that's the right size for a human, although the toy BB-8, to be fair, is just the right size for a puppy.

The full instructions will soon be written at Instructables, but until then, here are all the materials you would need for the DIY project:

Robotics & Electronics:


– Arduino Uno

– Pololu Dual VNH5019 Motor Shield

– 2x Pololu (19:1) 37D Metal Gearbox

– HC05 Bluetooth Module

– 4 Cell Lithium Battery Pack (2x)

– Switch, DC Jack, Wires, Solder

BB-8's Body:

– Inflatable Beach Ball (Diameter: 50cm)

– Old Newspaper

– Plain Canvas Cloth

– 2 Bottles of PVA Glue (a.k.a Elmer's Glue)

– 1 Bottle of Woodglue

– White, Grey and Orange (Tangerine) Spray Paint

– Roll-on Deodorants

BB-8's Head:

– Styrofoam Ball (Diameter: 300mm/ 12 inches)

– Christmas Ball (Size of BB8's Eye)

– WiFi Antenna (Prop Only)

– Cloths Hanger

– Roll-on Deodorants

– White, Grey and Orange (Tangerine) Spray Paint


– Superglue

– Neodymium Magnets

Via The Mary Sue.

Science of Sci-Fi

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