“It is a connected toy. It will only get better with time as we get exposed to the story [Star Wars: The Force Awakens]. As we get to learn more about the character, we can bring more to it.” Berberian adds that his firm is really interested in the notion of physical hardware, emphasizing how BB-8 is a new kind of toy. It’s not a plush toy, this is it. It is a robot. Now that we have that capability, it opens up this whole new realm. How do you tell a story with a physical robot? This is the perfect character to do it”
Sphero CEO Paul Berberian commenting on the launch of their BB-8 Ball Robot from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t out yet Friday December 18th 2015 is three (3) months away. I’m sure you can tell from the Trailers that came out Thursday August 27th 2015 that it’s getting closer and closer.
So it’s nice to known that the iconic BB-8 Ball shaped Robot (Ha, 2015) seen in the movie is already on sale from Robotics startup Orbotics, which now goes by the name Sphero after its star toy!
It’s a lot smaller than the original BB-8 in the Star Wars Trailer (Deer, 2015, April 17), but it works on the same principles as seen in the movie. It’s also very similar to the Sphero Ball Robot (Deer, 2012, February 9) and actually is controlled in a similar fashion.
For US$149, you get an app for your Android or Apple iPhone that allows you to communicate with the little droid. Once paired, you can set it in one of several modes
- Holographic Messaging
It differs from the Sphero Ball Robot in that it has magnets that are used to keep its head in place, which is just made of plastic. Still the technology behind how the BB-8 Ball Robot works is quite impressive and will give your children hours of endless fun.
It has no cameras (Miller, 2015) and basically you’ll have to control it within your line of view with the different modes giving it some semblance of intelligence.
The charging cradle can plug directly into a USB port allowing it to be recharged from any computer. This makes it unnecessary to plug it directly into an 110V outlet to get it charged and up and running straight out of the box!
At least Apple peeps won’t be left out (Gibbs, 2015) as the app also works with Apple iPhones. It’s not very intelligent as it has basic programming to detect its environment through bump mapping, not too far off from the iRobot Vacuum cleaner.
The BB-8 Ball shaped Robot will be available at midnight at the Sphero Star Wars website. So if you plan to purchase one from your children this Christmas 2015, now would be a great time to reach for your Scotia VISA Debit Card (Deer, 2013, August 24) and make that purchase right now!!!
Here’s the link:
- Deer, L. (2012, February 9). The Apple iPhone as a Remote – The R2-D2 Effect of Orbotic’s Sphero Robotic Ball. Retrieved from http://www.geezam.com/apple-iphone-remote-control/
- Deer, L. (2013, August 24). How to purchase items and subscribe to Magazines online and ship them to Jamaica. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-to-purchase-items-and-subscribe-to.html
- Deer, L. (2015, April 17). @StarWars The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer 2 – May the 4th will celebrate Star Wars as the Force Returns in December 2015. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/04/Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens-Teaser-Trailer-2.html
- Alvarez, E. (2015, August 3). Sphero’s BB-8 is the ‘Star Wars’ toy everyone will want. Retrieved from http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/03/sphero-bb-8-star-wars-toy/
- Ha, A. (2015, August 3). Bring Home Your Own Star Wars BB-8 Droid, Thanks To Sphero. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/03/sphero-bb8/
- Gibbs, S. (2015, September 3). Star Wars droid BB-8 is real and you can take him home. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/03/star-wars-droid-bb-8-is-real-you-can-take-him-home-sphero-disney
- Miller, R. (2015, September 3). You can now buy Star Wars’ adorable BB-8 droid and let it patrol your home. Retrieved from http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/3/9253461/star-wars-bb8-droid-toy-video-price-release-date