Want your own BB-8 even if you don't live in a galaxy far, far away? The DIY website has come up with a perfect alternative: Star Wars fans can now build their own version of the astromech droid with a beach ball and a smartphone. Created by the 17-year old wunderkind Angelo Casimiro, who posts videos of his creations on his YouTube channel TechBuilder, the DIY BB-8 droid can be constructed for under $120, using materials mostly found at your local hardware store.
For the techies: the motherboard of the operation is the Arduino Uno, a USB microcontroller based on the ATmega328P design, with 14 respective pins for both input and output, as well as six different analog inputs, a 16-MHz quartz crystal, and a USB connection. The board connects to other boards, components and rollers in the body which make the wheels turn - and let BB-8 do his thing.
While the chip might be a bit of a head-spinner (sorry for that one, BB), the body of the recreated bot is pretty simple: a beach ball is used to outline the circular berth of BB-8's bottom half, which is then shaped more finely with papier-mâché. The droid's head is made out of a half-moon of Styrofoam and held in place by magnets.
The entire operation is controlled via smartphone with Arduino's Bluetooth RC Car app, which is available for download for both Android and iPhone.
For those who aren't necessarily handy with a tool but still want a little pal from the R2-D2 line, there's no need to fret: you can always buy a Sphero model of the droid.
Learn how to build your own personal BB-8 - all thanks to Angelo - in the video clip below.