BB-8 by Sphero is every Star Wars fan's dream robot

BB-8 by Sphero

When the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was revealed to the world, a whole lot of people had the same thought about one of the little robots in the trailer. It looked suspiciously like a giant Sphero robot with a little floating head on top, so naturally a ton of people asked Orbotix if they would be able to make a version of their popular Sphero robot to look like this thing from the trailer. Not long after, the world learned that not only was Orbotix capable of making a small version of that BB-8 droid, but was the company responsible for making the big one being used in the movie.

Today, BB-8 by Sphero is finally a real product you'll soon be able to buy for yourself, and it's shaping up to be the toy every Star Wars fan is going to want to own.

On the surface, this little droid closely resembles a Sphero orb with a little head on top, but the overall feature set blows away anything we've come to expect from the folks at Orbotix. BB-8 by Sphero pairs to your phone or tablet and lets you control movement, and as you'd expect it's the same kinds of movement we've seen from the larger BB-8 appearing in The Force Awakens. The BB-8 app includes several control methods, including voice controls tuned to the owner, sentry mode between pre-determined areas, and even autonomous behavior if you just want the droid to roam around and play. Sphero describes BB-8 as having an adaptive personality, and claims its behavior will change based on interaction with you. A line you'll see repeated in marketing material is how this droid is more than a toy, it's your companion.

BB-8 Holo Messaging

The BB-8 app also includes a communication mode, allowing you to record messages from your phone and have them play back in an Augmented Reality field that looks as though your message is being played through a holo-projector baked into BB-8. If you've got friends who also have BB-8 droids, you'll be able to send holographic messages back and forth to one another through the app.

As you'd expect from a Sphero-like toy, the wireless docking cradle lets you drop BB-8 in when you're done playing and pick it back up when you're ready to go. Like the robot itself, the cradle is sporting heavy Star Wars theming, and when BB-8 is placed in its cradle the head adjust automatically to face forward, acknowledging that charging has started and just plain looking cool.

BB-8 by Sphero is launching on Force Friday, September 4th for those who haven't been paying attention to every little thing in the Star Wars Universe, for $149. Everything you need to know about grabbing one of these for yourself can be found over at the Sphero site.

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He's a passionate futurist whose trusty iPad mini is never far from reach. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Reach out on Twitter!

  • Cute toy and no doubt it will be popular, but as a robot, that thing is the worst. This stupid, stupid design for a robot, along with the (patently ridiculous) new "hilted" light sabre are the two main reasons I won't be bothering to go see the movie at all. There is "suspension of disbelief," then there is silly fantasy land where nothing makes any sense. They might as well throw in a few dragons, and some vampires while they are at it. It's as if whomever wrote this movie has no regard for real science-fiction at all.
  • What the F IS WRONG WITH YOU??????????????????????????????, what a Debbie Downer!!!!!!!!!!!!, you should change your meds to something STRONGER, you need it!!!!!! and by the way, STAR WARS is incredible and don't you forget it!
  • Gaz' has about 90% negative comments, it's rare I ever see a positive one from Gaz Sent from the iMore App
  • I bet if he won the lottery he would complain that the check wasn't printed on recycled paper.
  • What's "wrong" with me is I'm a serious science fiction fan. I want my robots to be at least borderline possible instead of something run by fairy dust that only exists for comic relief. Geez, I even complimented the little thing and STILL you think I'm being "negative." What the actual f*ck is wrong with YOU? I repeat ... "cool toy!" but "lousy robot." If your fantasy world can't deal with a simple, totally justified comment like that, then there is seriously something wrong with you, not me.
  • Well, I say if you're a serious sci-fi fan, then I don't think Star Wars is for you. Star Wars has always been more fantasy than sci-fi, and I don't think it's ever been meant to be taken seriously as such (as sci-fi). So it may be that you're simply not in the target audience for it. There's nothing wrong with that, of course; it's just a different genre and not all genres will appeal to everybody.
  • You have a track record as a serious fan of making snide remarks. Nothing you've ever said proves you are a fan of science fiction. Also, just so you understand the difference, Star Wars is not science fiction. It's a fantasy and a fairy tale with science fiction elements.
  • The lightsaber with a *crossguard* is hardly the worst thing ever, although it doesn't fit into the fighting style. Unless the swordsman uses it like a claymore. That might be interesting. Also, Bruh, like try for some positivity. Also, really, it's not realistic enough for you? When the hell did Star Wars become hard sci-fi because it never was. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • Isn't the rumor that the light saber with the cross guard is "home made" by the dude welding it? Point is until the movie comes out we won't know why it is the way it is, so why judge it now? It may make perfect sense in hindsight so I'm waiting till I actually watch it before making my judgements Sent from the iMore App
  • Idk, I've been ignoring star wars news so I can see stuff fresh. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • Well, everyone hates me and it's clouding their judgement, but I just can't agree about the cross guard. It's illogical nonsense, as is the cute little robot in question. Absolute poopy nonsense from start to finish. The only reason the lightsaber with crossguard exists is because:
    "Well, we did *double* lightsabers, and then *quadruple* lightsabers, what can we do to top that?" The only reason the robot exists is:
    "Every movie has to have a crusty little muppet type character for comic relief, but people are tired of R2D2, and Jar-Jar was a big mistake. Let's try an even *cuter* robot!"
  • Oh come on, not EVERYONE hates you. At least I don't. Besides, hatred is from the dark side. ;)
  • Concerning the lightsaber, I'll leave this here. Get some perspective dude.
  • I find your lack of faith disturbing.
  • Negative Nanny Sent from the iMore App
  • I WANT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Cool little droid! I want one. This is the droid I was looking for. I wonder if they'll be making these BB-8 droids in different color schemes? A blue one would be cool.
  • Looks really fun.
    Note that the Sphero design wasn't used in the movie. They didn't even start working on it until filming was under way.