You can say at least one thing about the recently released movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It inspired a pretty cool toy called the BB-8, named after a droid in the movie by the same name. The BB-8 is made by a company called Sphero. Its design is close to two other toys the firm makes called the Sphero and Sphero Two. The most visible difference is a movable head piece that floats on top of the BB-8 as it rolls along.
The toy’s mechanics sit in a relatively thick (about an eighth-inch) polycarbonate sphere which we hacked into with a table saw. Inside, the main structure is a clear plastic frame that holds the circuit board, two motors and two Lithium batteries, a charging coil, and a plastic mast that sits on the frame. That plastic mast holds a couple of magnets that attract the BB-8’s head and let it stay in place as the toy rolls. The mast is a separate piece that is spring-loaded to keep it pressing against the inner surface of the sphere.
The toy is able to roll on command thanks to a pair of small dc brush motors in the base of the plastic frame. They sit just above the wireless charging coil that lets the BB-8 recharge when it sits in its charging base.