January 29, 2016

Filipino physics student builds working life-size BB-8 droid

Words by Mio Borromeo

Though not the first to make his own replica of the popular The Force Awakens droid from scratch, 17-year-old Filipino Angelo Casimiro released a video tutorial for DIY engineers that cuts the cost of the Sphero toy nearly in half


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Angelo Casimiro gives us one more reason to be proud of the Filipino youth.

On his YouTube channel TechBuilder, the 17-year-old Physics student from De La Salle University released a video that teaches viewers how to construct their own BB-8 replica, controllable by smartphone. The replica makes use of a beach ball covered in papier-mâché and a dome head made with styrofoam to form the droid’s body. As for the droid’s operating system, Casimiro installed Arduino Uno, an open source micro-controller board that uses Bluetooth to coordinate movements between the head and the body. In its present state, Casimiro’s droid is only able to respond to movement and sound commands issued from the user’s phone.


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All-in-all, Casimiro spends just a little under PHP6,000 ($120) to build BB-8, which comes out considerably cheaper than the tiny Sphero toy’s Philippine retail price of $210.

An equally extensive listing of the building process has been posted on Instructables.

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