Today, I'm going to teach you how to build a working, life-sized, phone-controlled Starwars BB-8 droid! In this tutorial, we are only going to use household materials and a little Arduino circuitry.


My Christmas Gift For Dad: One of my dad's hobby is being a toy collector (Hot Toys, Enterbay & Etc..). He grew up watching movies from the 80's, including Starwars! He is a really huge Starwars fan. When the Sphero BB8 was announced, he wanted it so badly! The Sphero toy cost $150 online, $210 in our country (Philippines), not to mention that they ran out of stock easily! It's not the typical toy that you would buy impulsively. Knowing with my past experience in building robots, I figured I could build a life-sized version of the Sphero BB8 for less than $100. I also saw this as an opportunity to spend some father-and-son time with him. This is what we ended up building in the week of Christmas! Anyway, my mom and I also got him a Sphero BB8 and used it as our reference for building this project. For him I guess, the best gift was the time we spent building it together.


Why Household Materials?

Due to the limitation of materials, I resorted in using the materials around me. (deodorant roll-ons as ball bearings, canvas as fiberglass, Christmas balls as the eye & etc.. ). A lot of people could relate to this. My approach on building the project doesn't require 3D printers, CNCs or Milling Machines!


The full video tutorial is finally out! (MUST WATCH!)

RECENT UPDATE: BB8's First Day At The University (v1.0 Demo)

DIY BB8 (v2.0) in Progress Update:

If you liked the video, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel - TechBuilder! Also, please don't forget to VOTE! Thank you! ^_^

Step 1: Reverse Engineering BB8's Design

Step to be written soon!

<p>Excuse me but on step 14, I can not seem to locate the file package is it there for everyone else?</p>
<p>yes but you have to upgrade to premium</p>
<p>Did anyone else have trouble getting the beach ball round? I blew it up as full as it would go, applied the paper mache, and the surface is not uniformly round. Looks as if parts contracted slightly. It's close, but certainly not a perfect sphere. Thoughts?</p>
<p>the same thing happened with me,try using a styrofoam ball and using it as a mold</p>
<p>Hi! How can I fix the two parts of the body?</p>
<p>Built my bb-8 but simplified down a lot, will soon post instructions on my page. Only cost me 135-150$. Also it was a 1:2 so not life size obviously</p>
Can I have the templates too I m been questioning a long time for the pdf
What happened to the beach ball that was in Bb8
How did you do the deodorant, was it still useful or dry when you mounted it.
<p>It was about 220 &euro;</p>
What was the total budget.... Can i build this below 300 dollars i am from india
If is someone going to help me please harry a little bit because I want to finish it before the school starts<br><br>
<p>Hi I'm George from Greece and I have started making BB-8. I have selected arduino motor shield as a cheaper option but I dont know what motors I must use. I would appreciate if somebody helped me with this .</p>
But how to charge it and what to use to charge and how I didn't understood that? Pls help me bro
<p>I'm having the same problem ?</p>
<p>Does anyone know where to get the pdfs from? For the body panels and such?</p>
Hi your project is very good but can you give me the program please ? Thanks ;)
<p>why do you have to pay for the downloads? that don't seem right, just saying</p>
<p>Please send me the program that i shud encode in the arduino</p>
<p>I made it. Here are the images: It cost me over 1000 USD and I'm 13.</p>
Thanks so much! I'm in the same situation as you. I wish this guy would fix the instructions so they made some more sense.
<p>I know. It was very challenging.. Good luck to anyone building this, and may the force be with you ;)</p>
What did you do for wheels. I can't seem to find any online.
Tamiya 70111 Large Diameter Wheel Set
<p>Hi,</p><p>I resorted to the Pololu wheels after buying the hubs that were compatible with the motors. I bought them off amazon, but you can buy them on Pololu's website.</p>
Hey, thanks for all of your help. Is it possible that I could have a link to where you found these wheels. I am having very little luck.
<p>I am making one too. I am 12 years old.</p>
<p>Here is the inside, the templates and the finished ball.</p>
<p>What made it cost so much?</p>
<p><a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X1660RH9u0zMqX6ZIQGvnTYxJhE51bQaxhcSPcqM8zY/edit?usp=sharing" rel="nofollow">Here is the expense sheet.</a></p>
<p>Thanks for the breakdown - I find the China sites great for supplies like these at a fraction of the cost of the more usual shops, (at the expense of 3 to 4 week postage times) - this is a good site and would have most of the electrical, painting and magnet items on your expense sheet.</p><p><a href="http://www.banggood.com/">http://www.banggood.com/</a> </p><p>There are even cheaper sites (like aliexpress) - but I prefer the above as its just the one seller you are dealing with.</p>
<p>i'm frm INDIA......I'm an able find Motor Shield and Metal Gearbox-.......can i get other way to build it???</p>
<p>Yes. Adafruit is a great alternative. You can also use Arduino's Motor shields and compatible motors.</p>
<p>thanks for your advice :).</p>
<p>No Problem</p>
<p>can u tell me one i shod install FIRST. ???</p>
<p>thanks........i'm confused code i shod install....????</p><p>1)BB8 Aruino code. (OR)</p><p>2)Pololu Libray (Dual motor Shield)</p>
<p>can you send me measurement for dat wood work.<br>saikiran.sai03@gmail.com<br></p>
<p>The measurements are in the image:</p>
Can you please send me the PDF...thanks <br>
<p>I didn't make pdf's but in my pictures I showed my templates.</p>
<p>Do the batteries have to be Lithium or can they be another type of rechargeable batteries? What are the voltages and amperages of the Batteries?</p>
<p>I know this may sound dumb, but what do you connect the lithium-ion batteries to? The motors are connected to the shield, so you can't connect the batteries there. So where do you connect the batteries?</p>
<p>The VN5019 Shield has 3 terminals, 1 left motor, 1 right motor and the middle terminal for the power supply. I made the robot, and it took a while because there were no schematics or templates, so I made everything myself.</p>
<p>oh ok thanks. </p>
<p>You connect it to the middle terminal.</p>
<p>You connect it to the middle terminal.</p>
I think to the Arduino.<br>The motor shield give the electricity to the motor gear and he take it from the arduino.
<p>Hi, I'm making this and was just wondering whether you need the encoders on the gear motors? Do you? Please help. Thankyou so much.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi I'm Angelo! I am a 17 y/o Physics Major at the DLSU and I use my course as an inspiration for making ... More »
More by ASCAS:DIY Life-Size Phone Controlled BB8 Droid Rig A Car Horn To Your Alarmclock! Build A Smartphone Projector With A Shoebox  
Add instructable to: