With all due respect to Daisy Ridley, BB-8 was the breakout star of The Force Awakens, and Sphero, the noted robotics company, has created a version you can own.
And it is amazing.
You use an app to drive him around and it’s actually pretty impressive how much control the app yields. This fall, however, Sphero is introducing something incredible: The Forceband, a wristband that you can use to control the little droid.
It’s a little larger than a standard watch, but it’s well designed and looks pretty cool. It contains a series of extremely sensitive gyroscopes that very effectively read the subtle movements of your hand to direct BB-8 where you want him to go.
Here at Comic-Con, while visiting the Lucasfilm booth, I had the opportunity to try it out, and I have to say: once I got the hang of it, controlling BB-8 wasn’t difficult. He went where I wanted him to go and when he didn’t? It was definitely my fault! The movements required to control him are not complex once you figure them out, but it was so fun. Seeing him zip around the table was a real hoot, and the fact that I looked like Obi-Wan Kenobi while doing it was a definite plus.
For those that have a Sphero BB-8 already but don’t want to miss out, fear not: The Forceband will be sold separately when it releases this fall.
I only spent five minutes with The Forceband and wanted to take it home but alas: while BB-8 WAS the droid I was looking for, Sphero didn’t want to part with The Forceband quite yet, so I will need to be patient.
BB-8 retails for $149.99 in the US and $189.99 Canadian from my good friends at Best Buy. Also being released with The Forceband is a new version of the BB-8, with a Battleworn version.
No pricing information has been released for The Forceband yet, but it will come separately and will work with existing BB-8s, and come pre-packaged both with the new Battleworn version and the original.
This is one toy I enjoyed getting my hands on!