Sphero Star Wars BB-8 Droid

Recommended age: 5 to 10 years

Star Wars fan or not, this robotic droid based on “Star Wars – The Force Awakens” and created by Sphero won’t fail to capture your imagination and maybe your heart. 

BB-8 can be controlled by the free app (Android or iOS), your voice or the new wristband – you can teach BB-8 to recognise your voice and respond to various commands. The tough polycarbonate droid feels reassuringly sturdy and the body rolls along independently of the head which stays upright due to the internal gyroscope.

sphero star wars bb-8 patrol

Flashing lights and programmed sounds. The adaptive personality makes BB-8 somewhat unique in that it will demonstrate different behaviour based on how you interact with it. Make an obstacle courses for this spherical droid to navigate or let BB-8 roll around on its own in patrol mode at top speeds of 4.5mph. The speed can be adjusted within the app settings.

Emotions the Sphero Star Wars BB-8 droid can display – happy, scared and curious

For those of you that like to push the limits or for the next generation of programmers, there is a new app out there (aimed at beginners as well as seasoned developers) that will let you write your own program for BB-8 to give you even more control over it. Read more at https://sprk.sphero.com/about

The creators of BB-8 are adding new capabilities now and then. The latest is a Watch With Me feature. Watch “Star Wars – The Force Awakens” with your droid and BB-8 will react to audio cues in the movie. Also available is a wristband that allows you to control the droid using hand and arm motions. It’s good to know that the creators are still very keen on keeping this toy interesting and current.

Things to mention

The sound effects come from the smartphone or tablet controlling BB-8 because there aren’t actually any speakers on the droid itself. So you will need your device with you to hear the sounds.

There is no inbuilt obstacle detection, so if your droid rolls itself into an object, or you steer it into one, there is a possibility that the head will fall off. This only tends to happen with higher speed impacts but is worth noting.

The performance of BB-8 will not be as good on thicker pile carpets, but works well on thin carpets or hard floors.

Watch BB-8 at the top of stairs or big drops!

Can it overtake R2-D2 in popularity? Time will tell. It wins on cuteness factor alone I think.

Compatible with smartphones and tablets:

Android devices
OS 4.4.2 or higher, must have all of the following hardware in order to operate with BB-8:
Bluetooth LE (4.0)
Front and rear-facing cameras
Microphone
Distinct multi-touch landscape touchscreen
Hardware sensors including gyroscope and accelerometer
WiFi capabilities

iOS
iPad 3+ iOS 8+
iPhone 4S+ iOS 8+
iPod Touch 5th Generation + iOS 8+

Windows
Compatible with Windows 10 1511+. The following hardware is required in order to operate BB-8:
1 GB RAM
Bluetooth LE (4.0)
Front and rear-facing cameras
Microphone
Distinct multi-touch landscape touchscreen
Hardware sensors including gyroscope and accelerometer
WiFi capabilities

Dimensions: 4.8 x 5.3 x 8.9 inches

Included in the box:
Charging base
Battery. Estimated battery life 1 hour.
Micro USB Cable
Quick Start Guide

Price

UPDATE This Sphero droid has now been discontinued (Sphero actually stopped making all their licensed products) but as with many items you may still be able to find it from some suppliers. Check here to see if you can grab yourself one.

 

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