Like many people, when I saw the newest little astromech to join the Star Wars cast, I was very intrigued. Actually, that’s not the right word is it… The word is obsessed. Not obsessed in the way normal people get obsessed. I’m not buying every version of BB-8 I can find from plushies to stickers (full disclosure: I have a sticker on my laptop), I became interested in the physics behind the droid.
There are many builders creating versions of BB-8, but mine is slightly different. Let’s go back a bit, shall we?
We all know that BB-8 was a practical effect in the movie. GREAT! They actually did it! But how? There seem to be 2 popular ways to build this droid. Axel drive vs Hamster ball.
Axel drive involves connecting a ballast to the shell or skeleton of a sphere and using motors to rotate the sphere along a single axis to generate movement.
Hamster drive uses (usually) a heavy two wheeled bot inside the sphere. by moving the hamster, you move the sphere.
I’ll be using a vector bot. It uses three omni wheels pointing outward in 120 degree increments and can move in any direction at any time. While it has similarities to hamster, I won’t need to turn or spin the bot inside the sphere to turn.
I’ll be posting more information and designs as I go. But just wanted to start off the new build blog with my basic direction.
TLDR > 3 omni wheeled vector bot mounted inside a sphere