Monthly Archives: September, 2015

BB-8 Progress Update 9/30/15

I’ve been working on a lot of different things over the last month so I though I’d do an update. First, I’ve been working on the audio module. I’m using an old XGS PIC-16 development board I had lying around plus some custom firmware to play wav files from an SD card. I’m also trying my hand at building a home-made class D amplifier (basically just an h-bridge) to take advantage of parts I have lying around plus the chance to learn.

Audio Devel

I cut a higher quality roller/magnet board from ABS which will be used on on the gimbal and on the bottom of the head. Here is one of those boards:

Gimbal Head

And most exciting, I convinced a friend (thanks Dylan!) to let me borrow his 3D printer so that I could start working on the details on BB-8’s head. Below is a photo of the main eye I printed. I still need to clean up the parts, but I am very happy with the result, especially since this is my first 3D printing experience. I’m hooked!

3D Printed Main Eye

I used the 3D models made by James from so thanks to him!

Oh yes, one other thing: I added an LCD screen to the main CPU for debugging purposes. It allows me to view the measured tilt angle of the frame as well as the input levels from the controller. It’s been very helpful.


OLED Display for BB-8

BB-8 OLED Splash Screen

BB-8 OLED Splash

I’ve added an OLED display to BB-8 to assist me in configuring and testing the little robot. Above is the splash screen shown on load. Below is the current diagnostic screen. The numbers on the left, labeled P, R, and Y represent the pitch, roll, and yaw of the robot platform. The series of dots on the right are 8 slider bars which correlate to the input from the remote controller. This information will help me a lot as I build out the stabilization and automation features in the software.

BB-8 OLED Diagnostic

BB-8 OLED Diagnostic

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