Not so long ago, in our very own Milky Way galaxy, a plucky little droid named BB-8 roamed the hallowed halls of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, rubbing elbows with its robotic brethren. Happily, a photographer was on hand to capture this moment for posterity.
For the past 38 years there hasn’t been a robot more loved by fans than Star Wars’ R2-D2. But that could all soon change when The Force Awakens hits theaters, especially now that anyone can own a tiny working version of the movie’s BB-8 droid that can roll and balance all by itself.
For a droid enthusiast like myself, one of the best parts of the new Star Wars trailers has been the new little astromech droid, the ball-like BB-8. I’ve speculated about how that design could work before, but in the context of fiction. Now we know they actually built one. So, how did those kooky Imagineers do it?