Over the last year, Adam Savage and the Tested crew have made a handful of trips to Grant Imahara’s workshop, celebrating the life and craft of the late roboticist and Mythbuster star. But the latest dip into Imahara’s workshop is extra special because we get to enjoy a detailed look at his extremely accurate BB-8 replica.
Grant Imahara developed his BB-8 replica after attending Star Wars Celebration, one of the first events where Star Wars fans saw a functional BB-8 robot that starred in Force Awakens. As Fon Davis notes in the Tested video, Grant was a huge Star Wars nerd and worked at both Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic early in his career.
The BB-8 replica is fully functional and replicates a ton of fine details, to the point that it could probably stand in for a “real” BB-8. Lauren Markland, who spent months working on the BB-8 robot with Imahara, mentions the pains that went into replicating all of the robot’s details, particularly the “wobble” movement it makes to recover from a sudden stop.
And aside from its electronics and magnets, Grant Imahara’s BB-8 is almost entirely 3D printed. That’s a pretty big achievement—3D printers are super fussy, warping is a big problem with any large 3D printed material, and of course, the 3D printing technology we had in 2017 doesn’t hold a candle to what we have today.
If you enjoyed watching this Tested video, be sure to check out the Baby Yoda robot made by Grant Imahara and Lauren Markland. It’s just as impressive as the duo’s BB-8.