Sphero 2.0 BB-8 Hack

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Darth Vapor, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Darth Vapor

    Darth Vapor Member

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    Wifey was out of town for a few days and I saw an article from Christian Poulsen who made a BB-8 out of a Sphero 1.0 in less than a couple of hours. But it would only really go back and forth.

    I could not find a 1.0 that I could get quickly and I figured the 2.0 would be stronger and better, I decided to give it a try. The 1.0 Sphero has a "shock absorber" that runs below the inner dome. He modified the post with a magnet to attach the BB-8 head.

    The Sphero 2.0 innards are a complete redesign. There is still a shock absorber if sorts but it presses to the outer side walls vs. a center post. You'll see in my pics. So I had to figure out another way to make a center post for the magnet.

    First I had to cut open my Sphero carefully.

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    I then used Pilot ball point pen, the screw shaft and housing fit the inside diameter of my 3/4" ring magnet. I could adjust the height slightly with the screw base until I got it so the magnet would rest just below the inner dome so as not to create friction. The pen's tube was just the right diameter to fit over the center spring holder of the shock absorber. I cut it down with my Dremel and was good to go and I glued it to the base.

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    I then carefully glued the dome back together. I had to use a combination of hot glue (careful to not spill on the inside to interfere with the gyro) and super glue. Hot glue wasn't strong enough to withstand the abuse, but I didn't want to superglue the whole thing in case I had to open it up for adjustments and repairs. I also sanded the outside to prep for paint.

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    I used ping pong balls with a 3/8 disc magnet inside. I ended up removing the bottom ball portion and sandwiched the magnet between two pieces of adhesive backed felt. The first version worked great prepaint..After I painted the Sphero the added paint layers added too much friction and the head would bind the gyro and would not allow the Sphero to move. I also made a head with a foam practice golf ball. It worked well, but I knew I could not get a good finish with my Sharpie on the foam surface.

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    Next was the paint and finishing. I had found these foam happy face stickers at Michaels which were the perfect diameter for the orange rings on BB-8. They worked great as a mask. I painted the base orange first, then white, then I outlined and colored in the details with Sharpies, then several coats of clear for protection and to reduce friction.

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    Next was the detailing of the head. I used some gems for the eyes and hand Sharpied the rest.

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    Voila...Sphero 2.0 BB-8, fully controllable with my iPhone. Now I know Sphero is supposedly making a toy version that'll be way cooler and better functioning. Who knows if or when. But I'll have my BB-8 with me at next week's Toys R Us midnight toy release. Once aStar Wars geek, always a Star Wars geek...plus I was bored with my wife out of town

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    Next step, I'm trying to get a 3D printed head and body at the right diameter from another member here to try and a make a more accurate detailed version

    It's all in fun!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    russellsch, Torron, GaryArm and 2 others like this.
  2. dhunpael

    dhunpael Active Member

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    Nicely done
  3. Darth Vapor

    Darth Vapor Member

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    Thank you!
  4. Gimpdiggity

    Gimpdiggity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice work. Looks great.

    I'm not sure when the Orbotix one is supposed to be in stores. I have all of their products, so I'm sure I'll end up with that, too.
  5. Darth Vapor

    Darth Vapor Member

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    Thanks...I'm wondering if I could make a bigger BB8 using the Ollie. Does the center of the Ollie stay in one place, or tries to remain vertical? I've not seen one operate in person.
  6. Gimpdiggity

    Gimpdiggity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The center stays balanced, the lights generally always face the same direction. It's a very different device, though. It goes forward by turning wheels on opposite sides in the same direction, and turns by turning those wheels in opposite directions.

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