BB-8 Sphero Build

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Rymo, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Rymo

    Rymo Well-Known Member

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    After seeing some other BB-8 builds online using modified Sphero robots, I thought I'd try to make my own. I'm going to build mine using a Sphero 1.0.

    The other builds I've seen use a magnet inside the Sphero, a magnet inside the BB-8 head, and a small felt pad in between to allow the Sphero ball to rotate freely underneath the head. My concept will still use magnets to keep the head in place, but instead of a felt pad, I am going to try using some small spring-loaded rollers to allow the body to rotate underneath the head.

    For the head, I am going to use a 1.5" Styrofoam ball cut in half.

    For the rollers, I am going to use the scroll-ball mechanism scavenged from an Apple Mighty Mouse. I am going to use three of them. The scroll-ball mechanisms are about 7/16" square.

    The magnets I am going to use are 8mm circular magnets. Here is a dry fit on a rough cut Styrofoam ball to show the placement of the rollers and magnet.

    And here is a side view showing the rollers extending beneath the bottom of the head. The roller mechanisms are spring-loaded, so they will be able to move up and down as the Sphero body rotates underneath them.

    My next step will be to disassemble the Sphero and install the internal magnet. The real test will be whether or not just one magnet in the head will be enough to keep the head in place when the body rotates. The magnets I'm using seem to be pretty strong. They're the strongest ones I could find at my local craft store. I can always add more if need be.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  2. AndyJ

    AndyJ Active Member

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    How are you planning to keep the head from spinning 'round randomly while in motion?

    Otherwise super excited to see the final result!
  3. Rymo

    Rymo Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of that just now, actually. I'd have to put in at least two magnets to keep the head pointed in one direction. I may end up adding two, but for now I'll just use one to see if the concept of the rollers will work.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, since I want the head to be as light as possible, I think I'm going to scrap the Styrofoam idea and use half of a ping pong ball instead. The ping pong ball would be a little bigger than the Styrofoam, but I think the larger size will actually end up looking better. Even though it's bigger, the ping pong ball is much lighter.

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