Neil deGrasse Tyson Points Out Design Problem In BB-8 Droid From Star Wars

BB-8 droid design issues3

Half the world is going crazy about Star Wars: The Force Awakens and even the unwary half has felt the disturbance in the force as the movie continues to cash in billions of dollars and keep breaking records after records. Apart from the latest Sith Lord, renewed lightsaber duels and stormtroopers, what has managed to gain the most attention is the cute BB-8 droid introduced for the first time in the Star Wars Universe. The BB-8 is a rolling robot with a head perched on top of its spherical body and is way cuter than the R2-D2 from the previous films, but as Mr. Tyson points out, there are several flaws with its design.

BB-8 droid design issues

Since it is Star Wars and not some XYZ fantasy robot world, there was some concrete planning behind the new robot’s inception. The producers released a full working model of the bot before the release of the film, and there is a whole website dedicated to the working of BB-8. An app-controlled working model of the robot is also available for us, so there is no basic problem with the design, but terrain-wise, Tyson is not so sure.


A NASA scientist named Brett Kennedy also believes the Robot is poorly designed to function is space and terrain. He says” At the BB-8 droid I would have to say the physics, it doesn’t follow particularly well,” Kennedy said in a video for Wired. “Trying to roll up and over anything is extremely difficult”. The droid will definitely have problems climbing stairs, running on sand and uneven platforms, that is for sure. On sand particularly, the robot would have skidded out of control. I think Tyson is talking about this part of the movie. Don’t worry, it’s not actually a spoiler!

BB-8 droid design issues

But, coming from a guy who is more into Star Trek than Star Wars, this kind of biased opinion is expected. If we want to point out engineering issues in these series, I am afraid we will have way too many to address. Bottom line is that, BB-8 is cutest robot ever and even Tyson himself cannot deny it:


[Via TechInsider]

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