BB 8 Overview
The Rebel Alliance depends upon the transfer and delivery of hard acquired Intel to strategic command centers without being intercepted by Imperial forces. Key to a successful mission is having the best droid that can access, store, and deliver the goods. For the rebel cause, such a droid would be versatile, user-friendly, and highly intelligent.
BB 8 is an astromech droid that maintains X-Wing operations in the Resistance starfighter fleets. In general, Astromech droids are Class Two droids which interface with starships. They can perfrom tasks from controlling onboard systems, making simple ship repairs, and calculating hyperspace jumps. These droids have a non-threatening appearance, curious personalities, and advanced intelligence due to sophisticated programming. Moreover, due to advanced algorithms, the BB 8 astromech droid can double as a Rebel Robot for those times when you need an intelligent and versatile robot to get the job done while escaping Imperial hunters.
Rebel Robot, BB 8 has proven to be a real asset to the Rebel Alliance. In the Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, we are introduced to BB 8 for the first time. Loyal companion to Poe Dameron, BB 8 was quick to identify the First Order invasion on Jakku. When it became clear that Poe Dameron was not able to complete his mission, he told BB 8 to carry on. BB 8 successfullly evaded advancing stromtroopers closing in on Poe.
BB 8 Robot Toys
Depending on how many credits (money in your earth terms) you are willing to dish out, there are an assortment of models to choose from when deciding on which BB 8 to purchase for your next mission! Here is an overview of two:
Hero BB 8:
REALISM: This is a very close replica to the BB 8 employed in the Rebel Alliance! BB 8’s main body is equiped with an internal motivator which causes his orb to roll with ease. Its head is kept perched atop his body via magnetic wheels. Hero BB 8 stands at 16 inches tall (19 inches including antenna). It has plenty of interactive droid lights and sounds!
VERSATILITY: Why is the BB 8 model better than the typical standing astromech droid?? BB 8’s closed-system, body-orb prevents dust contamination that gets gunked up in older, servo-motor types. This is a very nice feature when you plan to run BB 8 on that kitchen floor or patio with 360 degree remote control movement!
VOICE COMMANDS: BB 8 has quite a personality! Try it for yourself. You can use voice commands with Hero BB 8 to engage your droid in various modes from guard mode to sleep mode, plus many more.
POWER MODULE: BB 8 requires both his head and body to be charged separately. The head is charged via a micro USB cable, which is included. The body is charged via a wall mount charger cord, also included. So, you can have your droid up and running in no time! Inlcuded are two batteries: one 400 mAh and one Ni-MH 1800 mAH battery. Three AAA batteries are also required, which are NOT included.
PROTOCOLS: BB 8 has been programmed with a follow-me mode where the droid will roll after you. All you need to do is clip the remote control unit to your utility belt and BB 8 will follow your lead!
PERSONALITY: Don’t be fooled by BB 8’s apparent timid behaviour and skittishness, that is just his self-preservation protocol at work!
TECH SPECS: Remote Control, One Small Antenna, One Large Antenna, Motion Sensor, Voice Recognition.
Sphero BB 8:
REALISM: This moderate level droid is much smaller than the Hero BB 8. You’re talking 4.5 inches high by 2.8 inches wide, compared to Hero BB 8 which is 16 inches high! The Sphero BB 8 is more of a collector’s droid. Unlike the Hero BB 8, this model does NOT have lights or sounds built into the droid. It does have sounds, but the sounds are only produced through your device hosting the downloadable App, such as your cell phone or tablet.
VERSATILITY: Like the Hero BB 8, Sphero BB 8 is very versatile and can roll 360 degrees in any direction.
VOICE COMMANDS: Sphero BB 8 is also responsive to voice commands. So, be prepared to interact with your droid using a variety of voice commands.
PROTOCOLS: Sphero BB 8 is an App-Enabled droid and can be controlled either by your smart device or it can be set to autonomous patrol mode. You can also program this droid through the augmented reality Droid Trainer which allows BB 8 to play out holographic simulations in the Star Wars galaxy. BB 8 can also interact with other Sphero droids such as BB 9E and R2-D2!
PERSONALITY: This BB 8 will watch Star Wars films at your side and can react in unexpected ways.
POWER MODULE: Lithium Polymer battery. Inductive charging (over 1 hour of play on a full charge).
TECH SPECS: iOS & Android & Window Phone compatible. Bluetooth Smart BLE connection (100-foot range). Inductive charging station (~1 hour of play on a full charge). Free App to run BB 8 availabe through iTunes, Google Play or Windows App Store. Plastic shell construction.
BB 8 Mission
The Rebel Alliance seeks to locate an old sage from Babbadod.
According to legend, there, in the Inner Rim, does this planet float.
High on the red rock mesas sit eight sages of Perlemian lore.
Whether trailling or spinward, half of eight look towards the core, half unsure.
Abba do Baa they say can point the way to Toful Oat, if we pay.
We must know, in a timely manner, where to find the sage, the city.
Take the droid, BB 8, go quick, through nebula thick, to Babbdod.
A starfighter and a cantina owner were talking together about their droids, as droid-owners will, and saying how excellent and helpful they were, and what advanced protocols they had, and how they were loyal to their owners. “My group of class one BLX Labor Droids, Cybot Galactica CLL-M2 Binary Loadlifter, and ASP droids are a joy to see in action,” said the cantina owner; and then he added, rather aggressively, “But I notice you never have more than one.” “No,” said the starfigher grimly, “but that one’s a BB 8 astromech.”
Moral: Quality, not quantity.
(BB 8 Photo Credit:By HarshLight from San Jose, CA, USA (BB-8!!) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)