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How I created my own Bb8 robot


How I created my own Bb8 robot

Once upon a time there lived one man in one galaxy. In childhood he saw Star Wars by George Lucas and fell in love with the movie. Since that time he had dreamt to create a robot like in the movie. But adult life worries swept away the dream from his memory for 25 years.

In 2015 a long awaited sequel of the fantastic saga was released, though with new actors and a new philosophy of the Walt Disney’s Studio. Our fan saw once again his favorite robots and realized it was time to create something of the kind. That was George Fomichev – founder and leader of the robotics startup Endurance.

So how did it all start?
With development of a SelfieBot robot, which has been open-source since April of 2016, and any person can make his/ her robot now under the Endurance technology.

SelfieBot is a personal robot. Anybody can assemble it using inexpensive electronics, software and firmware of Endurance. The big fact is that you can really use it as a practical phone holder for video broadcast or video recording. The device ability to turn after you is also a big plus. This Google API based function is called follow me.
There are numerous ways of using the device, but let’s go back to our Bb8…
To assemble it we need a 3D printer.

We use a WanHao Duplicator i3. It’s quite suitable for PLA printing.

You also need to be willing to see into the robot schematics to be able to assemble the circuit board. You can, of course, to assemble everything on a bread board, but we use a circuit board. It’s more reliable.
So, let’s download a ready-made Bb8 model for printing.

And 3D print it, having previously increased the model to the desired size.
We’ll need about 500 g of PLA.
We order all the necessary electronics on Ebay or Aliexpress… You can also buy it in any radio and electronics store. But there it is much more expensive. There’s also an option to buy an Endurance ready-made kit of electronics for $95. It will save you time and nerves.

Then, we carefully assemble the circuit board as it is described on our website.
Then we upload the firmware.
To do it for Arduino see the Endurance website.

What do we have now? A ready body and electronics.

To control a Bb8 we’ll need an Android phone. Any one will do with the OS 4.1.x or higher.
Then, download the app and install it on the phone.
After that, pair the phone Bluetooth with that of our Bb8 electronics. te Now you can check the mechanical part of the device and see if the servos rotate and everything works.

Then not quite a trivial work starts. Because we have 3D printed the Bb8 body neglecting the inner fixing system. That is a minus, of course, but not a big deal. Let’s make ready the inner fixing system.
For this we use a plastic or acrylic basis.
Now it is necessary to fasten up the servos in such a way that they could rotate in two planes and one servo supported the other. For this we make the coupling gear drawing.

The given construction is not technologically perfect but it works.
Now we have to assemble everything together.

Connect the 12 V power. Start the app on the phone, and here we are – the demo mode operating, to check if everything works.
The robot starts turning its head.
Well, let’s consider that we’ve done well for beginners of the DIY SelfieBot project.

Next time we can:
• Try to polish the robot body and make it more beautiful;
• Make some kind of apron or shield in the junction of the robot head and body;
• Try to make the robot less noisy.

But it’s another story for our next article.

Meanwhile, we remind you that you are very welcome to join the DIY SelfieBot program.

It’s open – source. Accessories are inexpensive.

For you to make your own robot. Perhaps, someone will make a robot on the basis of R2D2 or C3PO.
We are happy to announce that 6 universities have already joint the DIY SelfieBot program.

More details:

+7 916 2254302
+1 617 5492799
Skype: George.fomitchev
George Fomichev’s channel

“Assemble your BB-8 robot” saga goes on. Adding cool tidbits!

New updates and upgrades of BB-8 robot made by Endurance

We made a few improvements on our BB-8 robot. We added wireless charger, we added 3 solar panels and added speaker


So, last time we told you how to quickly make (not including 3D printing) one’s own BB-8 robot of the Star Wars and authorize it for minimal functions, such as: rotation and “follow me”. In this article we would like to tell you about the little upgrades we made for it.

We keep on upgrading it. Now it can operate outdoors without connection to the power supply or batteries. “How?” you might want to ask . Some of you has a hunch already. Yes, solar panels.

We put together a chain of 2 small solar panels (5 volts each). Using a serial connection, we obtain the output power of 10 V and 800 mAh. Not very much, but in a good sunny weather, the robot will work. It is obvious that 800 mAh is the peak power, in fact, it may be less. It all depends on the illumination intensity and the angle of sunlight incidence. But this is not everything yet. For the BB-8 operation we need also a charged phone/tablet. They also need charging. Yes, that’s right. With the same solar panels. There’s one innovation. We decided to add one tidbit – a wireless charger.

We had thought about it for some time already. But we must admit there’s one nuance. A wireless charger consists of two units: a charger itself and a receiver to be connected to the smartphone via a micro USB-port.

Nikola Tesla was the first to deal with the subject of wireless electricity transmission. Just in those early years when Morgan financed the sensational Wordencliff’s project (by the way, the fall of the Tunguska meteorite, or the Tunguska anomaly has nothing to do with the great Serbian physicist). But let’s go back to our wireless charger. There’s some kind of platform with a hidden reel inside, which generates electromagnetic field. Another plate transforming the electromagnetic field into the electric power to charge the telephone is connected to the telephone.

Obviously, the efficiency of this charger is low. The maximum current is 800 мАh.

Nonetheless, in the sunny weather the SelfieBot is able to work powered by only three solar panels. It’s understandable, the bigger the panel is the better.
As it is noisier outdoors than indoors, and the telephone/tablet speakers are not powerful enough, we decided to additionally connect to our BB-8 one more passive speaker via mini jack. Yes, via mini jack, because the Bluetooth is engaged to provide the phone/tablet connection with the SelfieBot’s electronics, and we use WiFi to remotely control our BB-8.

This is our present version.
We are still working at its looks!

In our next article we’ll tell you about some upgrades, particularly, how to make the construction more stable and more noiseless.

This is a list of upgrades we are going to finish in the nearest 2-3 weeks :

  1. Improve noise insulation;
  2. Improve stability when rotating, liquidate shaking;
  3. Add a diode tape to illuminate the eye;
  4. Fix an additional speaker inside;
  5. Paint it with the original ВВ-8’s colors;
  6. Create a more beautiful neck for the robot;
  7. Improve the fasteners for a more convenient assembling/disassembling;
  8. Create a mount for a wireless charger + telephone (now we use magnets);
  9. Create a mount for a GoPro camera.

Read about us on the Internet: Endurance SelfieBot or Endurance BB-8.

More details:

+7 916 2254302
+1 617 5492799
Skype: George.fomitchev

George Fomichev’s channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzziBor2UytyKZ2RCPjXvCA

Watch our video: