BB-8 is not only a cute little droid but also presents dandy of a challenge for hackers ’round the globe to try and recreate in the garage. Nonfunctional models are a dime a dozen and the novelty has long worn off the Sphero toy. This brings us to a legit full-scale BB-8, seen in action in the video after the break.
Lucky for us, [Ed Zarick] has written up a blog post that’s as impressive as the build itself. [Ed] has drawn some inspiration and shared knowledge from several online groups focused around recreating the BB-8. He also provides some thorough Solidworks assemblies that look painfully detailed.
To get the ball rolling, [Ed] has gone with a single axle drive system in his BB-8. The axle is mounted directly to the inside wall of the sphere and is part of the pendulum that controls the bot’s movement. Opposite the counterbalance is a BB-8’s head which is kept in place with magnets on either side of the spherical wall. [Ed] goes into the mechanics of the pendulum throughout the builds documentation which is easier to understand after you watch some of his videos before he painted the bot’s sphere.
[Ed] has also gone to the trouble of making this build reproducible by providing everything from the source code all the way down to part numbers from McMasterCarr. We love it when projects are completely transparent and repeatable so a big +skull to [Ed] for his work on this one!