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You can build your own BB-8 droid by hacking open a Sphero toy and adding some magnets

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If you saw all the videos of BB-8 rolling out on stage last week, and, like us, couldn’t help but screaming “I want one!” at your computer screen, we’ve got great news for you. Somebody has already created a working DIY version of the spherical little droid, and posted the directions online. With about a hundred bucks, a few hand tools, and a bit of tinkering, you can make a miniature version of BB-8 on your own.

To create his miniature version, designer Christian Poulsen started with a Sphero toy: an RC ball that first debuted a few years ago. This sphere-shaped bot connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and 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.

Star Wars BB-8 Droid Made from a Sphero and Magnets

Next, Poulsen sawed open the Sphero’s casing, and mounted a set of small neodymium magnets inside of it. These magnets were also fitted inside of the droid’s head (which Poulson fashioned out of lightweight foam) to provide the miniature BB-8 with its signature free-floating top. A few coats of paint later, and the miniature BB-8 was done.

Its rumored that Orbotix, the company that makes Sphero (and also helped Disney design the real BB-8 droid for the upcoming Star Wars films) has plans to release its own miniature BB-8 droid toy in the not-so-distant future — but if you don’t feel like waiting around, you can make this DIY version in just a few hours.

Check out the full directions for the build over at Make.

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Drew Prindle
Senior Editor, Features
Drew Prindle is an award-winning writer, editor, and storyteller who currently serves as Senior Features Editor for Digital…
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