Category Archives: BB-8

My DIY BB-8: Problems, Solutions, Lessons Learned

Imagine trying to make a ball-shaped robot that rolls in any direction but with a head that stays on. When I saw the BB-8 droid doing just that in the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, it was an interesting engineering challenge that I couldn’t resist. All the details for how I made it would fill a book, so here are the highlights: the problems I ran into, how I solved them and what I learned.

The Design Criteria: Portable and Inexpensive

I had two design criteria in mind. The first was to keep it low-cost. Some spend $1000 …read more

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Posted in 3d print, arduino, Arduino Uno, BB-8, blender, cordless drill motor, drill batteries, fiberglass, h-bridge, h-bridge motor controller, Hackaday Columns, inertial measurement unit, robots hacks, Star Wars The Force Awakens | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: How Do You Convert Negative Voltages to Positive?

I have a good background working with high voltage, which for me means over 10,000 volts, but I have many gaps when it comes to the lower voltage realm in which RC control boards and H-bridges live. When working on my first real robot, a BB-8 droid, I stumbled when designing a board to convert varying polarities from an RC receiver board into positive voltages only for an Arduino.

Today’s question is, how do you convert a negative voltage into a positive one?

In the end I came up with something that works, but I’m sure there’s a more elegant …read more

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Posted in arduino, Arduino Hacks, Ask Hackaday, BB-8, h-bridge, radio control, relay | Leave a comment