Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid
Product DescriptionMeet BB-8 - the app-enabled Droid whose movements and personality are as authentic as they are advanced. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and perk up when you give voice commands. Watch your Droid explore autonomously, guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings. BB-8 is more than a toy - it’s your companion.
- BB-8 app-enabled Droid with a tough and waterproof polycarbonate shell
- Bluetooth Smart connection allowing Gyroscopic propulsion to a 30m range
- Induction charging stand providing 60 minute battery life
- Compatible with the Force Band for control via gestures
- Free iOS & Android compatible apps; allow Adaptive Personality and view holographic recordings
Top ReviewsOkay if you know what you're getting
by Rebecca (3 out of 5 stars)
December 28, 2015
I waited impatiently to get my own Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid! I had watched the Sphero product videos and was amazed at what this cute little guy can do. I'm a gadget nerd and had to get my hands on this! Unfortunately, my expectations were too high.
First, let me start off by saying BB-8 is very cute. That part is true. I love the look, the design and the shiny finish. It is made of plastic, but appears to be good quality. It's very user friendly and you can be playing with BB-8 within minutes. The only set-up required is to charge BB-8 and download the app.
What can BB-8 do? Once you download the free app, you can:
"Drive" This feature of the app lets you control BB-8 as if you were using a joystick.
"Message" Record and play holographic messages.
"Patrol" When you select patrol, BB-8 goes exploring on his own.
BB-8 has the capability of responding to 10 preset voice commands by going to the settings in the app, such as "wake up", "watch out", "go explore" "go to sleep". I was expecting more than 10 voice commands. Siri has spoiled me. I have heard, but cannot verify, that the voice commands only work with iOS devices. If this is accurate, that's a huge drawback for anyone without an iPhone or iPad.
BB-8 is very cute (I know, I'm saying it again), has a great personality and is entertaining to watch as he rolls across the floor. That is about the extent of the entertainment.
I feel I was misled by the promotional videos. I was under the impression that BB-8 can "detect" when he is going to run into an object, stop himself and change directions; or, perhaps, adapt to his surroundings and learn where objects are. My impression of this came from the part in one of the promotional videos where BB-8 rolls up to a fishbowl with a goldfish in it, stops before hitting it and changes direction.
When I set BB-8 to "patrol", he wobbles around a bit, rolls quickly across the floor, hits a wall or other object, wobbles around again, rolls across the floor, hits another object, etc. It's entertaining to watch and the expressive sounds are fun, but after about 5 minutes I'm bored. The worst part of this is BB-8's head falls off frequently when running into an object so I'm constantly following him around to put it back on. Also, if you have stairs in your house as I do, watch out! BB-8 will roll right down the stairs and I'm not sure if he's sturdy enough to bounce down the stairs and land on a tile floor without breaking. I've "saved" BB-8 an untimely death a few times now. Again, this falls under my misunderstanding of thinking BB-8 will adapt to his surroundings or detect a drop off. I have a robotic vacuum that didn't cost much more than BB-8 and has that very capability. It knows to turn around to avoid crashing down the stairs. It also vacuums right up to the edge of walls and furniture, but never actually touches it. Hmmmm.......
Next is the issue with the sound. Again, my expectations being different than reality. I thought the sounds would come from BB-8, when really the sounds all come from your smartphone. Very disappointing! I'll set BB-8 on "patrol", set my smartphone down in one room and let BB-8 go explore the house. I don't get the enjoyment of hearing the sounds if I don't carry my phone with me and it's not as realistic even if your phone is right next to BB-8 because you can easily tell no sound is coming from him. This is perhaps the biggest disappointment.
Finally, the holographic messages. I thought it would be like in the movie and BB-8 would project a recorded message onto the wall or what-not and play the recorded message. The message only shows up on your smartphone. When using the app through a Motorola smartphone (and others), this feature doesn't work at all. I don't know if it's something that there will be a fix for in the future? It does work on an iPhone and other devices, but is still disappointing that BB-8 isn't really projecting anything.
This is a very expensive toy and the novelty wears off very fast, especially if you're expecting something more and it doesn't deliver. If you're a Star Wars Memorabilia collector, you've probably made up your mind and probably should purchase it. If you're like me and love Star Wars but aren't a collector and/or your a gadget nerd like me, you'll probably be disappointed. There's not much to it besides watching it roll around the floor, crashing into things.
To summarize the Pros:
Realistic looking miniature version of BB-8
Great novelty item for Star Wars Collectors
Fun Sound Effects
To summarize the Cons:
Entertainment won't last long
Doesn't detect obstacles or objects in it's way
Head falls off
Doesn't sense drops to prevent it from falling down the stairs
Sound doesn't come from droid
Holographic messages are really just a video on your smartphone ~ if your smartphone is compatible
Only 10 voice commands
Voice commands may only work with iOS devices
Price is too high for what you really get
BB-8 is more than just a toy! Program it to do more!
by inamra (5 out of 5 stars)
August 5, 2018
Unlike most people, I did not see the trailer until AFTER I bought this. Originally I wanted an original Sphero Sprk but after seeing that they had a BB-8 one, AND for only $49 on Prime Day, I knew my SW-loving kids would love it even more.
BB-8 Sphero is exactly what I was looking for because it is PROGRAMMABLE, just like a Sphero Sprk, plus all the bonus Star Wars toy features that I now see on the trailer (yes, but it's a shame that the sounds don't come from BB-8 directly and the holographic images are only on your mobile device). The key is to not only download the BB-8 specific app but to download the Sphero Edu app, which allows you to control, program your BB-8 to be way smarter than its pre-programmed self. You can have it react or turn around wherever it bumps into something. You can have your mobile device make BB-8 sounds automatically (or even roar like a Lion) whenever BB-8 starts charging. My 8yo programmed it to run laps around my kitchen island. You can program it to go up to your fish bowl, change colors, and turn around. It's a lot of fun and provides quality STEM-based intro-to-robotics education for my kids.
Make sure you have your mobile device Location AND Bluetooth turned on in order for the Sphero Edu to connect to BB-8. And remember to orient BB-8 via the AIM feature before running your program so it runs relative to your orientation. We are loving it in my household when there's so much more you can do with it than just having it explore (roll aimlessly), go to sleep, etc.
Be aware of what it really does
by J. D. Martinez (3 out of 5 stars)
December 25, 2017
Not sure why people are giving a product that did not deliver on its promises 5 stars, but it is not a 5 star product, especially not for the price.
I won't waste too much time repeating what some of the top reviews said, but main point is do not listen to the product video, it can't really do any of that stuff. It is a very misleading video. It does not learn your room, it just randomly bumps into things and goes in another direction to come back and bump into the same stuff again.
I like some things about it, but I would have like to make the decision to buy this based on actual functions of the device, not misled and flat out lied to by the company to buy this on false pretenses.
Okay At First
by eko51213 (4 out of 5 stars)
July 4, 2017
Great robot to have fun with. Excellent wireless charging and confident battery life. Now for the down side she of my purchase. Although I find this excellent to have an interacting spherical robot at my home, I'm still questioning whether it's worth the price or not. To me it seems worthy of maybe half the price? It mostly rolls around makes noises here and there and you have a choice to control it. That may seem like a whole lot of exploring at first but after about a month it got boring to me. It's simply collecting dust as I don't have the feelings it's worth playing with anymore.
carpet) and not super slippery (e
by redwine77 (4 out of 5 stars)
June 11, 2016
Well designed and did what was advertised. But note that moving properly is dependent on a surface that is both not thick (e.g. carpet) and not super slippery (e.g. clean hardwood). Needs charging every 15-20 minutes and noise comes from your phone, not the BB8. Most of the "features" like acting upon voice command and hologram are, as expected, silly gimmicks that don't work very well.
Great fun, adorable!-
by Ella (5 out of 5 stars)
February 11, 2016
Fun little robot. I love this guys personality! He likes to patrol your room and check things out. I had to laugh when it ran into a piece of furniture and said it was a hostile being. The only complaint I have is that the robot himself doesn't make noise, only the app. I worry when phones change that the app will no longer work then this little guy will be useless. Now if they could integrate the programming into the robot himself, that would be something. I have one of the interactive R2 D2 robots and love how he works, still I enjoy BB8
I had a problem after he sat for a while and had to get a new phone- he would not pair or even power up. What isn't told to you is that there is a little white reset button on the charger that resets him. I have searched youtube and Sphero's site to find this out.
A real BB-8 TOY as in TOY
by Halo9x (5 out of 5 stars)
January 13, 2016
My wife got BB-8 made by Sphero as my Xmas present. We were able to get it for the lowest price thanks to Amazon. I like it, BB-8 works as advertised but strangely does not make the "no,no,no" sound as per the YouTube video. You need the App for your iPhone/Android phone to be able to do anything. While 'he' is cute and novel, it doesn't really do anything useful and probably won't except that it is a way to have a bit of the movie with you. Driving him around or letting 'him' patrol is a fun short term diversion for a few minutes. I'm not trying to be negative but realistic. 'He' is an expensive toy and that needs to be understood. If you are willing to accept that, fine. If not you may want to pass on buying it. I looked at CNET's review and take it apart video and learned the little guy has a 32 bit processor on board which is impressive. It clearly has a 'brain' and only time will tell if Sphero follows thru on their statement that they plan on increasing what BB-8 can do. As it is, BB-8 is a nice novelty. How much did I pay? $47 and some change. So, I have no real complaints because I think that amount makes BB-8 a good deal. At a $149.99 +, I think you really have to think about it.
Love this little guy
by Nelson Jr (4 out of 5 stars)
October 13, 2018
This product is a lot of fun to mess around with. The novelty kind of wears off if you don't have tile. Unfortunately I have mostly carpet in the entire place and it's pretty difficult to use this little guy. Hopefully my new place will be full of tile and I can let him roam around wherever he wants.
A great toy to play around with cats or kids, but not dogs because they will definitely eat it. BB-8 is very responsive depending on the phone. Unfortunately Google has not worked out the speech recognition very well still in 2018. Seriously Google get on it, this is ridiculous! There are a lot of adorable noises and motions he makes, the only bad thing about it is that all the sound comes from your phone and not from the BB-8 unit itself.
Very good price point right now, it's just above 50 bucks at the time of my purchase. Definitely worth a buy.
No customer support!!
by Nancy (1 out of 5 stars)
January 22, 2018
I bought a Sphero last year to play with my cats...they love it and so do I. So, thought I would get the BB8 with the anticipation it would be as much or more fun...I am very disappointed. It does not roll that well and does not give you many options for things to do. My plain Sphero does dances and rolls really well just about anywhere. If you have nothing else to base your opinion on perhaps it will be a fun toy, but if you have had a regular Sphero the BB8 is disappointing:( Also, if you need any customer support...forget it! They have still not contacted me...asked for help 3 weeks ago!!
Bring the Movie to Life with this Droid
by KarenK (5 out of 5 stars)
January 2, 2017
Got this for our 10 year old grandson, and he loves it! He's a big Star Wars fan, and this looks just like the BB-8 droid in Star Wars "The Force Awakens." The robot moves easily and quickly on hardwood floors, concrete sidewalks, and even does okay on low-pile carpet. This is an app-enabled "toy" that has to be paired with a smartphone or tablet (which will serve as the controller). I think this is a great toy for the Star Wars fans and kids. I can see where the robot could start to grow old, since there is currently only so much you can do with it. According to Sphero, the BB-8 droid will continue to evolve and grow "smarter" with new updates. If this happens, it could definitely extend the age range of those who would enjoy this robot.
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