With the development of a SelfieBot robot, which has been open-sourced since April of 2016, any person can make one now under the Endurance technology. SelfieBot is a personal robot which anybody can assemble it using inexpensive electronics, software, and firmware of Endurance. The big fact is that you can really use it as a practical phone holder for video broadcast or video recording. The device ability to turn after you is also a big plus.
To assemble it, you need a 3D printer, a WanHao Duplicator i3 which is suitable for PLA printing. You also need to be willing to see into the robot schematics to be able to assemble the circuit board. You can, of course, assemble everything on a breadboard, but it’s better to do it on a circuit board as it is more reliable. So, let’s download a ready-made Bb8 model for printing and 3D print it. We’ll need about 500 gms of PLA.
You can order all the necessary electronics on eBay or Aliexpress. You can also buy it in any radio and electronics store. There’s also an option to buy an Endurance ready-made kit of electronics for $95. It will save you time and nerves. Then, you can carefully assemble the circuit board as it is described on Endurance website. And finally, you can upload the firmware. To control a Bb8, you’ll also require an Android smartphone with 4.1 or higher version.
You can download the SeflieBot Droid app from the Playstore and install it on the phone. After that, pair the phone via Bluetooth with that of Bb8 electronics.
Make sure you check the mechanical part of the device and see if the servos rotate and everything works. Since, we have 3D printed the Bb8 body neglecting the inner fixing system which is a con, but not a big deal. To make ready the inner fixing system, you can use a plastic or acrylic basis. It is necessary to speed up the servos in such a way that they could rotate in two planes and one servo-supports the other. For this, you need to make the coupling gear drawing. The given construction is not technically perfect, but it works.
After assembling everything together, connect the 12V power. Start the app on the phone, and here we are – the demo mode operating, to check if everything works. The robot starts turning its head.
If you are looking to make such DIY SelfieBot, you can join the Endurance Robots program in this link.