Watching A Movie With A Droid

April 26, 2017
1 min read

No-one to watch Rogue One with? Maybe you need Sphero’s BB8 to keep you company, writes PAT PILCHER.

Sphero released one of the cutest robot toys of 2016 when they unleashed the Sphero BB8 droid on an unsuspecting public. Since then, lots of clever software updates have made it the gift that keeps giving.

The latest update is timed to coincide with the global release of Rogue One on Blu-ray, DVD and streaming media. With this update, BB8 can watch Rogue One with you and wobble, beep and carry on like an excited puppy when it recognises specific characters or scenes from the movie.

Using the iOS or Android app, BB8 picks up the audio from the movie. It seems to know which scene is being watched. Even more clever is BB8’s reaction to movie characters as they appear on the telly. They also appear on the BB8 app screen on my phone, and BB8 goes bonkers whenever it ‘realises’ they’re onscreen. Things even got to the point where I found myself uttering “shush!” at my over-excited wee droid more than once.

I haven’t compared BB8’s Rogue One reactions to The Force Awakens, but I’m guessing that it’d be fair to say that if he got all wobbly and beepy at Rogue One, he’s got to go nuts when he sees himself on the telly?

It isn’t hard to see why BB8 has been such a big success for Sphero. Coupled with the force band controller, which is a wrist watch device that pairs with BB8 using Bluetooth, you can drive the little droid using a series of arm, wrist and hand motions. It’s great to see ongoing updates extending BB8’s functionality in such clever ways after purchase.

In short, if you are a Star Wars fan (or have a thing for cute, pre-weathered orange and white droids that may be carrying the plans for the empire’s latest weapon), BB8 is the droid you’re looking for.


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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