The BB-8 droid is one of the most popular additions to the Star Wars universe. Toy makers are already springing up to create replicas as Star Wars fans around the world want one in their home. But what about building a BB-8 from scratch, completely customizing its capabilities, and building it exactly to scale?
Zarick did just this. He started with a foundation of open source Arduino code, 3D printed parts, and some other fan-created BB-8 droid designs, but he also made some major improvements. Zarick's main improvement to existing design was the drive train. Rather than using the standard "hamster wheel" design, he created a single axle with a counterweight for a more elegant solution that closely replicated the droid's motions on film.
For remote control of the robot, Zarick used an XBee module and Arduino Pro Mini to create a controller that allows him to easily whistle and beep with the press of a button and move the droid around with analog joy sticks.
For details on the BB-8 design, visit his blog!