Do Astromech Droids Dream of Electric Wookies?

BB-8 is the newest droid in the “Star Wars” universe.  When BB-8 was first introduced to the world, we all grinned seeing this soccer-ball like robot rolling speedily through the desert sands of Jakku.  Disney no doubt has created the cutest and dare I say coolest droid that I have ever seen since R2-D2.  And BB-8 is a fully functioning piece of technology that was created by master puppeteers who made him work animatronically.  So how exactly does BB-8 work and how will he fit in with this new universe?  Glad you asked.

Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney was involved with some sort of technology program called Sphero which had been developing robotics involving magnets and remote controls.  Bob Iger thought it would be a cool and unique idea to create a new droid for this new set of films, instead of creating a CGI droid.  He and J.J. Abrams agreed that they should have a physical droid on-set just like C-3PO and R2-D2.  So spehero created this amazing soccer-ball like robot whose head turns and funtions, while the base part of the body rolls around.  The two go hand in hand as one puppeteer controls the base, causing the droid to roll, while the other controls the head.  The head acts as a magnet of some kind which is how it’s able to turn and rotate all around the base of the robot.  From a technological standpoint, this little droid seems to be an advanced piece of technology, either that or this company hasn’t had any luck with their products finding distributers.  All I know is that I have seen some really interesting robots used in films and in the science world, but I have never seen anything quite as unique as this.

So where will BB-8 fit in with this new “Star Wars” universe?  I think he will fit in wonderfully.  Just from the trailers alone, he looks like a fascinating new character.  He seems to have sass and a witty sense of humor and I think the characters surrounding him are going to love him.  We know that he is the wingman of Poe Dameron, as he is shown on the back of his X-Wing beeping and making all sorts of noises.  Sphero made a BB-8 wi-fi controlled toy which is dominating the toy market right now and looks like it will be the number one selling product this year.  BB-8 is expected to be one of the new character favorites and is already a smash hit with kids, even before seeing the new movie.  BB-8 has a lot going for him in this new “Star Wars” era and I cannot wait to see how he will play into all the different films.

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