Star Wars fans have spent the better part of 2015 waiting for the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Some amazing Star Wars collectibles made it to the shelves this year. The BB-8 Droid is one of the coolest Star Wars merchandises available. You will recognize the droid from the trailer of the latest movie. The droid has been created by Sphero. The droid used in the movie as well as the toy robot version of it available as merchandise has been created by the same company.
The BB-8 is 4.5 inches tall and 2.9 inches wide. It replicates the droid from the movie. Just that it is a little smaller than the one that appears in the movie. The same orange and grey colors have been used in the toy.
The head of the toy robot is attached to the larger sphere with the help of a collection of magnets. It appears that these magnets are a little too weak because the droid keeps losing its head every time it rams into something. This is one of the biggest setbacks of the toy. Sphero developers may have to work on this part of the design.
The head glides around the body with the help of two wheels and a magnet. Unfortunately, the wheels pick up a lot of dirt and you do not have an easy way to clean it. Unless you have immaculately clean floors, your BB-8 droid is sure to pick up a lot of dust which will clutter the tiny wheels.
The body is sturdy and shows no scratches even after the toy rammed into some of the furniture. The body is a smooth plastic ball and is a kid-friendly toy. The droid uses and induction charge to power its batteries.
App and Features
The BB-8 Droid can be connected to your Android or iOS device using Bluetooth. You simply need to download the Sphero BB-8 app from the store and you can pair your droid with your phone. This allows you to make the most of your ingenious toy. Once paired, you can scroll through the options of Drive, Message, Patrol and Settings.
This option allows you to drive the Droid using your Android or iOS device as a controller. A blue LED inside the toy’s head helps you identify the direction in which it is headed so that you can control the sphere properly. It will take some time for you to understand the orientation of the droid to drive it in the right direction. But once you have mastered it, you will find it to be a lot of fun.
Princess Leia had used the holographic message capabilities of the droid to convince Obi-Wan Kenobi to assist Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion. The BB-8 droid without this feature would be incomplete for Star Wars fans. Sphero uses augmented reality to create a similar feature in the toy. After you record a message using your smartphone, you just have to point your phone towards the toy and the BB-8 will project your message from its head when you look through your device’s screen.
This is your droid’s autonomous mode where it will explore the space where you leave it. The toy tries to gradually learn the map of the area to avoid running into furniture. However, this should take time, because it usually ends up ramming into the same thing quite a few times before it learns its lesson.
The settings section has three options – UI sounds, Droid sounds and Use Metric Units. You can enable or disable these according to your choice. The sounds are similar to the ones that you would hear on the R2 D2.
Sphero’s BB-8 Droid is a great Star Wars merchandise. Priced at $150 it is one of the most expensive Star Wars merchandises. The authentic looks of the droid and the cool way in which it drives around your house makes it worth the price tag and if you are a Star Wars fan then there is hardly a reason to not bring this cute little droid home.