When the droid BB-8 made his first appearance on stage earlier this year, the geek world went wild. He had previously been seen in an advance trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and everyone just assumed that the rolling robotic ball would be a digital character. Not so. The news came out that the robot developers at Sphero had been key in bringing BB-8 to the screen. And now the circle is complete as the Sphero robot available to the public has a BB-8-styled variant.
Sphero robots have been around for a few years. They’re cute little balls that can be remotely controlled by a phone app, either iOS or Android. But one of the problems has been that they’ve been a little light on personality. The BB-8 makeover solves this. This little droid is brimming with personality, and that only grows as you use him.
BB-8 comes with an inductive charging stand, 60 minute battery life, and a Bluetooth Smart connection that gives him a 30 meter range. His head is held on magnetically and there’s a special BB-8-themed Sphero app for driving him. BB-8 listens and reacts to your voice, and also can operate autonomously in exploration mode. You can even record virtual holographic messages for him to deliver.
BB-8 was a very popular item and hard to find at non-scalper prices for a while, but now things have settled again and he’s back to his retail price of $150 – available at Amazon, and all over the web. If you need a cute little robotic companion in the new year, this is the droid you’re looking for.