Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and ed Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and editorial at the Web Summit. She’s interested in all things tech, with a particular fondness for lifestyle and creative tech and the spaces where these intersect. Twitter
A 17-year old self-proclaimed ‘tinkerer’ has come up with a way for anyone who can’t afford a BB-8 replica to build their own life-size version.
Angelo Casimiro has uploaded a 20-minute instructional video showing how to recreate a working BB-8 using mostly household products. Some of the items, like wood putty and a gearbox, might require a trip to the hardware shop, though.
The rolling droid is programmed using an Arduino Uno, an open-source controller board, with the body comprising of a domed styrofoam head on a papier mâché body modelled on a beach ball.
The ball-bearings are just four roll-on deodorant bottles connected to a board that allows them to move around the same as the movie version. Casimiro uses speaker magnets to keep the droid’s head in place as it rolls around.
The whole thing is controlled using a free Arduino controller app that’s intended for remote-control cars and connects via Bluetooth.
While all of this might sound pretty low-tech and makeshift, the finished product is pretty convincing.
The entire cost for the project was less than $100, according to Casimiro, so he saved $110 by making his own BB-8 and gave it to his dad as a gift.
If your skills are a little rusty, Casimiro offers troubleshooting advice in his tutorial and shows off all of the issues he faced while making the BB-8.
This isn’t his first creation to gain some attention, though. The talented teenager was in the spotlight in 2014 for creating a pair of power-generating sneakers at the Google Science Fair.
➤ DIY Life-Size Phone Controlled BB8 Droid [Instructables via Tech Builder]
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