View Full Version : How I created my own Bb8 robot

06-29-2016, 01:30 PM
Onceupon a time there lived one man in one galaxy. In childhood he saw Star Wars by George Lucas and fell in love with themovie. Since that time he had dreamt to create a robot like in the movie. Butadult life worries swept away the dream from his memory for 25 years.

In2015 a long awaited sequel of the fantastic saga was released, though with newactors and a new philosophy of the Walt Disney’s Studio. Our fan saw once againhis 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.


Sohow did it all start?
Withdevelopment of a SelfieBot robot, which has been open-source since April of2016, and any person can make his/ her robot now under the Endurancetechnology.


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


Weuse 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 assemblethe 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’llneed about 500 g of PLA.
Weorder all the necessary electronics on Ebay or Aliexpress… You can also buy it in any radio andelectronics store. But there it is muchmore expensive. There’s also an option to buy an Endurance ready-made kit ofelectronics for $95. It will save youtime and nerves.


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


Whatdo we have now? A ready body and electronics.


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


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


Thegiven construction is not technologically perfect but it works.
Nowwe 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.
Therobot starts turning its head.
Well,let’s consider that we’ve done well for beginners of the DIY SelfieBot project.

Nexttime we can:
• Try to polish the robot body and makeit more beautiful;
• Make some kind of apron or shield inthe junction of the robot head and body;
• Try to make the robot less noisy.

Butit’s another story for our next article.

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

It’sopen – source. Accessories areinexpensive.

Foryou to make your own robot. Perhaps, someone will make a robot on the basis ofR2D2 or C3PO.
Weare happy to announce that 6 universities have already joint the DIY SelfieBotprogram.

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