How Star Wars’ BB-8 Droid Works

While Star Wars might take place in a galaxy far, far away, the technology behind one of its breakout stars, the adorable rolling BB-8 droid, is actually available right here on Earth. Instead of relying on CGI to animate the droid in the upcoming “Force Awakens” film, director JJ Abrams decided to build out an actual, working model and enlisted the help of start-up Sphero. Now, two avid Star Wars fans and software developers have uncovered exactly how BB-8 operates—from its omni-directional rolling base to its gravity-defying hovering head—and they’ve set up an entire website explaining how everything works.