Here’s one sure fire way to earn ‘parent of the year.’ Make your kid their own BB-8 droid from Star Wars; The Force Awakens. You just need to be handy with power tools, artistic, have $150 and about a day of free time.

Christian Poulsen, an industrial designer, has all four. Everyone saw the Star Wars panel where the BB-8 rolled around the stage. Instantly, we all thought, ‘I want one.’ Who wants to wait around for Disney to push these out for the holidays?

We live in a ‘right now’ society, and luckily Christian figured this out for us.

Taking a Sphero robotic rolling toy, he was able to convert it into a fully functioning BB-8 that can roll around. He even posted the how-to guide on Makezine for others to follow along.


It’s a bit involved, but first you cut the Sphero in half, without damaging any of the circuitry powering the Sphero. From there you implant neodymium magnets for the head.

Now, you are going to need a bit of artistic talent. You will have to fashion the head, that will attach via the magnets. Poulsen used Rhino to design the head, adapting a screengrab from the trailer to get the proportions correct.

As an industrial designer, he has access to a CNC, and polyurethane foam was used to mill out his design.

After painting to match the droid from the movies, he embedded a magnet in the head along with a small felt pad to allow the head to slide across the surface of the ball.

The end-result is a BB-8 controlled via bluetooth through the Sphero app.

bb-8 christian poulsen

Poulsen is quick to critique his own work, saying this was done in just a day. He says the design isn’t perfect, but he was able mimic the look of the droid everyone wants and stick to his stated timeline of one day.

Christian, come on man. This thing is awesome. Me? I’m more likely to cut my hand off sawing apart a Sphero. Here you are making a BB-8 out of one in less than a day.

Check out the video of the homemade BB-8 rolling around below. Also, his Makezine page for directions on the diy.

LucasFilms? I think you just found your new droid tinkerer.

For us non-crafty people? We are going to have to wait on Disney to take more of our money this holiday season. And, I’m hiding this video from my nephew. Little guy will have me sawing up Spheros until I get it right.


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