Sphero’s BB8 robot has been enhanced with a wearable – aptly called the Force Band – that can control the little critter, making it move around the room using whole body movements and gestures. For example, if you turn around in a circle while wearing the band, BB8 will rect by doing the same. To make the robot go forwards, you can just push your hand out in front of you and it will zoom forwards.
To make BB8 return to you, face your palm towards your face and bring your hand back again. It’s very intuitive and will make you look like a Jedi Master in no time.
The addition to the range was announced at CES in Las Vegas and Sphero said it will be shipped later this year in a bundle with the Sphero BB8 unit.
If you missed the announcement of Sphero’s BB8 robot, it’s a replica of The Force Awakens latest droid. Whether you want to re-enact scenes from the film or just want to annoy everyone in the vicinity by making the little critter crash into their feet, BB8 has also been designed to help kids get programming.
There’s an array of actions pre-programmed into the BB8, but the whole point is to encourage the user to string these actions together to re-create scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The six-inch toy can be controlled by a smartphone and your voice. You can also use BB8 to create your own holographic videos, viewable on your smartphone. For example, you can add your floating face next to the robot and re-enact one of your favourite scenes from the film.
‘We want you to feel like he’s present and potentially even a friend. We’ve incorporated a playful element and there’s a driving experience,’ Rob Maigret, Chief Creative Officer of Sphero said. “Its movement is authentic to the character’s in the film.”
As the user plays with the robot more, it will develop its own personality, reacting to its owner as a loyal companion and becoming more confident as it explores its surroundings on its own.
It can speak to you too – saying yes and no, nodding its head and reacting to anything you say.
BB8 is fully rechargeable using an inductive charging base and is available for £130 from a number of outlets including Firebox, Harrods, Amazon, PC World, Apple and Disney stores.