The droid, which is sure to be a hot-ticket item this holiday season, is pretty much everything we could’ve hoped for in a Star Wars toy. It’s not nearly as big as the full-size robotic version used on the Force Awakens set, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in pure awesomeness.
Save for its little magnetically-levitating head, BB-8’s hardware is almost exactly the same as a regular Sphero — a drivable RC ball that first debuted a few years ago. This sphere-shaped design uses an array of motors to spin its spherical casing around itself and drive around — sort of like a robotic, remote-controlled rat in a ball.
Like Sphero’s other toys, the BB-8 toy will connect to iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth — allowing users to drive the it around by simply tilting their phone or tablet. But Drive is just one of the three modes that BB-8 offers. The accompanying app will also sport a Holographic Messaging mode, which allows users create and view Star Wars style “holo-messages” inside the app. And of course, because this is Sphero we’re talking about, there’s also a Patrol mode that’s designed to teach kids about programming. This mode will display a real-time log of BB-8’s movements, based on data picked up by the gyroscope and accelerometer sensors in your device.
The toy is slated to go on sale for $150 starting tomorrow, and will be available both online and through a number of different brick-and-mortar retail locations. Be prepared to wait in line though — this is probably one of the most highly anticipated toys in history.
That said, if waiting in line isn’t your thing, you can always just build one yourself.