Star Wars ep7 BB-8 droid concept

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Creator1326

Well-Known Member
This is my concept for the BB-8 droid that is indeed a practical effect and not CGI. There is a side view and top view.

Light Blue is the head dome. I am aware I'd need some batteries and stuff in the head for lights.
Red are BIG rare earth magnets
Orange are spherical bearings
Dark blue are servos for X/Y movement of the positioning arm (the two triangles)
Purple is the platform (could be any shape). Wheels and platform could probably be swapped too so the wheels hang off of the platform, could be more stable.
Yellow are the batteries for counterweight.
Green are Omni wheels. Only two driven to move forward or backward. Drive all four and you can move diagonally or any degree within that.

attachment.jpg


These are Omni wheels
Omni-Wheels 276-1902.jpg

BB-8-concept.jpg


Omni-Wheels 276-1902.jpg


attachment.jpg
 
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Creator1326

Well-Known Member
There is one function I'm unsure of. When the head twists to look around. I'm not sure if they are able to do that with the magnets from within the body or if there are two more wheels in the head to turn it. This is why I drew three magnets. I was hoping they would couple up and act as a magnetic shaft so the articulating arm could twist and rotate the head.


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Great concept, I've been sketching up a design quite similar in how it runs, however since I'm not an electronics guy I was looking at using an rc car (such as the tyco rebound) which uses a tank drive method (two sticks controlling each side). The method of having the head "float" using magnets & ball transfer units is also what I was thinking. Working it out in my head I'm thinking the head will have to be incredibly light to be held by the magnetic field in motion, & also friction will need to be kept to a minimum, looking forward to getting started on this


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Jay Tomlin

New Member
This is an awesome concept! Watching this progress is going to be awesome! I would love to make one BB-8 looks amazing.
 

Creator1326

Well-Known Member
@PhoenixUK I was unaware of Sphero, thanks for the heads up. I did find a picture of one of the insides of the Sphero toy.
sphero-motors_450.jpg


Crazy as it sounds I think XKCD beat us all to this concept YEARS ago. I had a keen friend who found this image. They publish on M, W, F, the current one is 1513 and the sphere one is 413, you do the math, I'm too lazy.

https://xkcd.com/413/


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Oh, and while there are really large neodymium magnets capable of holding a hundred pounds or more I am aware of the inverse square law of gravity and magnetism. I will be endeavoring to keep the arm and head magnets as close together as possible.

On a side note, anybody know where I can get a super sized hamster ball?
 

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skint

Active Member
Not sure how much you can get from this photo but he is in pieces on the table at the rear on this shot, just behind the radio controller.

 
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Edwardowan

Sr Member
Not sure how much you can get from this photo but he is in pieces on the table at the rear on this shot, just behind the radio controller.
I would say you pretty much can't get anything from that shot! :D its in pieces... its small, its blurry, and doesn't give away anything... but thanks for trying! LOL!

Sphero is confirmed for BB-8

Iger is credited with discovering Boulder, Colo.-based Sphero, which is responsible for the robot character’s movement. now, Kennedy calls it the “Red Carpet BB-8″ so what we saw is a promo versions and there may be other customized versions for set and of course some CGI because if you watch the first trailer you will notice the head barely touches the body ball.

article here:
https://fortune.com/2015/04/17/iger-star-wars-bb8-sphero/
 
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Creator1326

Well-Known Member
Well I can see that the insides of BB-8 are rather solid. After the round doors come off it's not as hollow as I expected.


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Edwardowan

Sr Member
Well I can see that the insides of BB-8 are rather solid. After the round doors come off it's not as hollow as I expected.


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perhaps what went into BB-8 was prototype work for Sphero 2.0 Peace Keeper Edition which moves faster than a human can run
 
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Duncanator

Sr Member
I think you are right on with the use of magnets.
The head doesn't need to float, it just needs to be pulled down on the surface of the ball and the ball transfers do the rolling. Large neodymium magnets can produce a LOT of pull, and if you alternate the north/south orientation on two or more sets of magnets, then the head will stay in alignment with the internal "neck" actuator. You'll want to keep the distance between the internal magnets and the head magnets as close as possible, because the "pull" falls of very rapidly as the distance increases.

I so want someone to build this!
 

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I think you are right on with the use of magnets.
The head doesn't need to float, it just needs to be pulled down on the surface of the ball and the ball transfers do the rolling. Large neodymium magnets can produce a LOT of pull, and if you alternate the north/south orientation on two or more sets of magnets, then the head will stay in alignment with the internal "neck" actuator. You'll want to keep the distance between the internal magnets and the head magnets as close as possible, because the "pull" falls of very rapidly as the distance increases.

I so want someone to build this!
I've been running over this in my head with a view to starting my build in the next week, the magnet issue is one I'm thinking will require a lot of tweaking to get just the right amount of "pull" without causing too much friction so that the ball can't roll freely without dragging the head to the floor while rolling forwards. One thought I had was to have an array of magnets (say 6 in a circle) within the ball, and one in the head (which needs to be incredibly lightweight so the less heavy magnets the better). My feeling is that this would provide a magnetic field safety net to keep the head in position as it rolls, I'm not a magnet guy though so I'm not sure of the worth of this idea
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
The magnets should be arranged so that for every magnet on the inside of the ball, there is a corresponding magnet in the head.
 

Rymo

Well-Known Member
Now I'm tempted to take apart my Sphero to try to attach a BB-8 head onto it, just to see if the concept would work. I wonder if the scroll ball mechanism from an old Apple Mighty Mouse would work as the small bearings? It's spring-loaded and very tiny. I have a few of these mice at work that are no longer functional. Hmmm...
MIGHTY_MOUSE_WIRELESS.jpgmouse06.jpg
 

Creator1326

Well-Known Member
I've been leaning more towards the idea that the head and body are separate robots. The body would be like the Sphero, and the head would be like this robot:
https://youtu.be/bI06lujiD7E
I've been thinking about the wheels inside and I've seen these ball bots before. I was torn between three and four and the angle would have to be the opposite of the one in your youtube video for use inside the sphere. I really thing the head is magnetically attached. If it was a separate robot it'd fall off on the first bump. If that sphere was metal it's be pretty heavy to overcome rotational inertia and it just seems like a awful amount of work to precisely calibrate the movement of the head to the movement of the body if they were separate wheeled objects..

In this picture from the trailer you can see it doesn't have wheels under the head.
Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 12.41.45 PM.png

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Now I'm tempted to take apart my Sphero to try to attach a BB-8 head onto it, just to see if the concept would work. I wonder if the scroll ball mechanism from an old Apple Mighty Mouse would work as the small bearings? It's spring-loaded and very tiny. I have a few of these mice at work that are no longer functional. Hmmm...
View attachment 466408View attachment 466409
I have a ton of these mice a work. After they get crudded up with grime they don't roll so well anymore.

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I've been running over this in my head with a view to starting my build in the next week, the magnet issue is one I'm thinking will require a lot of tweaking to get just the right amount of "pull" without causing too much friction so that the ball can't roll freely without dragging the head to the floor while rolling forwards. One thought I had was to have an array of magnets (say 6 in a circle) within the ball, and one in the head (which needs to be incredibly lightweight so the less heavy magnets the better). My feeling is that this would provide a magnetic field safety net to keep the head in position as it rolls, I'm not a magnet guy though so I'm not sure of the worth of this idea
I agree. It'd have to be some sort of calibration rack that with a few twists of a screw driver you could raise or lower the magnets to get just the right amount of pull.

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because the "pull" falls of very rapidly as the distance increases.
Yup, the inverse square law of gravity and magnetism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law
 

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