Body & Concept

Star Wars EP7 BB-8 Droid VERSION 2

This page is the overview and main assembly, check out the main project index for the rest.

There is a YouTube video about this section

I started building the previous version of my BB-8 droid with only 2 seconds of footage from the first EP7 trailer to go from. Since then Star Wars Celebration took place where the real BB-8 rolled out on stage. This time I’ve decided to have a drive unit inside the main ball with a magnetic head coupling:

The middle of the droid is essentially a hubless wheel which is motorised and rotates inside the ball. My droid will drive in one axis and turn on the spot which will allow me to install opening panels in the future:

Most of this droid is 3D printed including the part-ball I have so far. Each 16th of this was printed on a Lulzbot TAZ and took around 2.5 hours.

I’ve used a flywheel full of UK 2 pence pieces which make the droid turn in the opposite direction as it’s spun. This flywheel is only spun for tuning, it does not provide any other stability.

The electronics currently consist of an Arduino Uno with a Bluetooth sheild, an Adafruit BNO055 Absolute Orientation Sensor, two L298 motor drivers and an MD03 motor driver for the main drive – this is a windscreen wiper motor. The whole droid is powered from multiple LiPos, mainly two 11.1v LiPos in series to make up to 24v for driving under stabilised control – check out the video above for more on that.