Well, this has to be my first real test of the my BB-8 concept. I’m using centrifugal-force that makes the BB spin/turn left and right. This is a very crude test to make sure I was heading in the right direction. I’m using 4 x 0.5 kg weights and it works perfectly, quietly and I dare even say effortlessly. In the first part of this video I had to hold the body or it would turn directly and it required very little power to get movement. In the coming days I will get the forward and reverse motor hooked up, balance out the body as its not at all balanced in this test and then try the RC, fingers crossed… ;-)
Not trying to post too many post about every single thing but this is a milestone moment. The basic shape has finally come. Its still a long way off to completion but pretty cool to see some progress in the right direction. I made a spin-wheel for supporting the dome. The idea is to keep the dome as light as possible and yes it will have working lights as all.
Just getting back from my vacation trip and am back at this crazy build. I call it a crazy build because I really have no 100% certainty that this will even work as I have intended. And having only a few months to complete this is an added challenge. Anyway, while waiting for some key parts to be delivered I’ve decided to test vacuum forming the dome with different plastics and thickness’s. The optimum seems to be 3-4mm polystyrene for the main dome shell and then 1-2mm polystyrene for the dome panelling. In case you’re wondering I found this 28.5 cm bowl at IKEA which is actually the exact size I’ve been looking for and I’ve been looking for weeks. The pics below show the main dome only.
Well, this will be my first official post about building my BB-8. As BB-8 hasn’t even been seen in the cinema yet its really a challenge to get the correct measurements but thanks to a bunch of dedicated SW fans and R2 builders around the world a consensus on size and such has been agreed upon. The main body is 20 inches (500mm) and the head is approximately 280-300mm in diameter. That’s what we all can agree upon. However, there are about 100+ ideas about how it actually works. I won’t go into detail about what everyone else is doing, but I will say some of those ideas are extremely over engineered and once everything is enclosed you’ll never ever really see the inner workings. My pictures below can give a somewhat clearer idea of what direction I’m taking and by no means I’m 100% sure if it will even work but I have “done the research”, the math and my way should do the “trick”…..hopefully ;-)
For those that are curious about some detail. Yes, it will be fully remote controlled and I’ll be using the same Sabertooth motor controller layout as with my previous droids but with some slight modifications. The body of BB-8 will have a double shell leaving space for LED lights, micro electronics, micro servos and such. The rest of the controls are still on the drawing board stage. My idea about how the head will work is a little radical but I feel “confidently hopeful” ;-)
Having said all that keep in mind that because this is a prototype test and completed build at the same time the direction of some of these ideas can change when I’ve reached the final stage ;-)
I normally don’t lift up companies on my blog but this has to be the exception to my own rule. Building all of my robot projects is a world of fun on many different levels but equally expensive beyond belief. However, on occasion one gets introduced to new acquaintances and on occasion from these acquaintances you get introduced to the right people and companies. Vink Plastics in Stockholm has just volunteered to sponsor my plastic needs for my past, present and future robot projects making it possible for me to stay creative and carry on with my charitable and creative hobby. Vink doesn’t usually have contact with private people as their focus is towards major companies and corporations. Vink Plastic has different locations around the world and I can’t speak how they are locally in other countries however the Stockholm branch has really offered me a wonderful thing and I’m totally humbled.
Its not really been a secret but as my Wall-E build is slowly coming to completion I’ve been pondering the next build. Many have questioned why I’ve built the first 4 droids/bots (wow that many?) and well I love challenges and love stepping out of my comfort box. Also, I love to learn about robotics as it is our future in some shape or form. Speaking of which, form yes, I’m going to try and tackle building BB-8 from SW episode 7. Because this is totally out of my depth its that much more exciting. I’ll be collecting the main parts before summer and start then. I have the internal design already worked out so we shall see. Wish me luck ;-)