Star Wars Junkies are stoked for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the newest movie in the multibillion dollar movie empire. Last week, a little roly-poly ball rolled out onto the stage of the 2015 Star Wars Celebration. R2D2 was sitting on the stage, minding his own business when BB-8, the newest robot to join the cast of characters, rolled out and gave an “I’m here!” type look out to the audience.
All geek eyes instantly lit up. Luckily it wasn’t just a show item. Star Wars fans rejoice! You’ll get to get your hands on your very own BB-8 just in time for Christmas.
When it was decided that BB-8 would be a part of The Force Awakens, a lot of thought went into just how to incorporate it. Designers thought that a CG BB-8 would be a neat idea and easier to shoot for the film. But “neat” wasn’t enough. “Easy to shoot” wasn’t reason enough to have a CG version of the robot. It was decided that it would be better for the movie itself, for the set, for the actors even if the role of BB-8 were actually performed. Developers got to work brainstorming ideas on creating a real-life BB-8.
The result of hours of ball rolling in a Disney Executive’s office is an impressively sized, fully functional real life droid. The technology behind the development is by none other than Sphero, a startup company based out of Colorado that is the creator of a smart-phone controlled robotic ball that run for over an hour on one single charge and also safely go down a flight of stairs. The cutting edge technology lent incredibly, to say the least to the development of BB-8.
The only warning for this: If you have kids, you might want to buy more than one. Or else, be prepared to be in an all out war over who gets to play with the droid. Rivaling the impressive technology is the out-of-pocket cost that you can expect with the BB-8. The price point, are you ready for this? It will run you just about $150. That’s less than the cost of the newest gaming system, and let’s be honest, will probably give your inner child many more hours of joy than running around a city shooting people in a video game.
Is it Christmas yet?