‘ Star Wars’ ro­bot roller for the fans

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - CHRIS WOOD

ANY­ONE who took a few hours out at their lo­cal theatre to watch Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens will cer­tainly be fa­mil­iar with the new, of­ten amus­ing lit­tle ro­bot called BB- 8.

Now, Ed’s Junk is pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity for fans to build their very own re­mote- con­trolled, life- sized replica of the robotic char­ac­ter, though they’ll need some sig­nif­i­cant know- how to ar­rive at the fin­ished ar­ti­cle.

The freely- avail­able de­sign makes use of a sin­gle axle run­ning through the middle of the ball with a coun­ter­weight at its base, which rolls the ball for­ward when turned.

The pro­ject will likely be a pretty costly one for any­way in­ter­ested — both fi­nan­cially and in time spent — with the poly­car­bon­ate spher­i­cal body alone com­ing in at $ 500, or about R7 800.

The pro­ject’s cre­ator is also not quite done with the not- solit­tle ro­bot, with plans to con­tin­u­ally im­prove the build, work­ing par­tic­u­larly on im­prov­ing sta­bil­ity while rolling.

Ed’s Junk even paid at­ten­tion to the con­troller for the replica, cre­at­ing a small re­mote with a sin­gle thumb stick for con­trol- ling move­ment, along­side con­trols for head move­ment and play­ing au­dio clips on the back and sides. Its cre­ator calls it a “stealth con­trol”, and it’s de­signed for sub­tly ma­nip­u­lat­ing the ro­bot at pub­lic events with­out any­one re­ally notic­ing you’re do­ing so.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

For the price of a used scooter, Star Wars fans can now con­trol their own lit­tle ro­bot called BB- 8.

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