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A Visit to Lucasfilm | Galactic Builders

October 3, 2019


[ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYING] [BEEPING] – We are here with the Lucasfilm
headquarters in San Francisco to meet with the students
with FIRST Robotics. They’ll meet BB-8
and learn more about how he was brought to life. Now we just have
to go and get them. [BEEPING] After you. [BREATHING] – It reminds me of
how all of our robots have a central motherboard. I mean, that’s the
way he breathes, so it’s probably important. [BEEPING] – Maybe he’s our tour guide.
– I think we should– – Let’s follow him
and see where he goes. [BEEPING] – Hi, I’m Samyukta. – And I’m Avanti. – And we are a FIRST
LEGO League team called the Thunderbots
who have been competing for over six years. – Hi, my name is Katie. – I’m Nathan. – And we’re from
the FIRST Robotics competition team
1678 Citrus Circuits from Davis, California. – Hi.
– Hi. – Hi. – So I’m Matt. And I see you’ve
already met BB-8. – Yep. [BEEPING] – So I’ve done 25 years in
the film industry working on animatronic creations. I’m one of the
creator and operators of BB-8 from an engineering
standpoint, that is. – What’s the biggest
difference between, like, making a
rolling droid versus another droid like R2-D2? – R2-D2, for one thing,
he’s very stable. He has three wheels. For BB-8, his body is the wheel. And the way we do that is
that he has a fairly large weight in the bottom of him. And then he has some
gyroscopic sensors. It’s a bit like what
you have in your phone. You can tilt your phone
around and do games like that. And if you touch him,
he’ll re-stabilize himself. – I never took much
thought into him. I’m like, OK, it’s
probably all just CGI. But after he showed
us everything and told us how
BB-8 was made, it just changes your whole view. – So how does BB-8’s
head move around? Is the body like a giant magnet? – Well in this universe,
we have the force. So we can– no, we don’t. We have the force of magnets. You’re absolutely correct. So straight through the
center axis of his body, there’s a stalk that comes
off of it that moves around. And the sphere, if you like,
doesn’t touch this top part. There’s some magnets in here. And then the head sits on top. So wherever you move the
stalk, the head will follow. So one of the interesting
things is that he doesn’t have a battery in his head. In fact, what we’re
doing is transmitting power through the body. So if I take the head off,
you should see the light go out in the eye there. – Whoa. – Seeing the possibilities with
BB-8 opened up a lot of ideas in my mind of things
I might want to do or things I’m interested in. – So I believe you guys have
brought some stuff with you to show me, which is exciting. – Absolutely. We’re really excited to
show you what we brought. – Yeah. [MUSIC PLAYING] – Well, I see LEGO and robots. So already, you have me. – Yes. In FIRST LEGO League,
the robot game part is completely autonomous. So you won’t see us
having any controllers. It’s all programmed. – Wow. – So you told us about how R2-D2
has a system where he has two main wheels, and then one
that just kind of follows along everywhere he goes.
– Right. – So that’s actually a system
that we’ve incorporated into most of our robots. – Sure. – So this here is
called a caster wheel. – And they use
casters on R2-D2s. – Yes. It’s basically our
version of the R2-D2. – Yeah. – That’s very cool. I can really see
how it would have advanced my learning
in robotics, especially with the LEGO aspect of it. I would have just loved that. – All right, so
this is our robot. During the game, our
goal was to score those yellow panels over there
and those orange cargo balls into this structure. – Wow, it’s zippy. Again, in film we usually cheat. And we have several robots
that do different tasks. So trying to get it to do
all one thing is really cool. I love the way all the
bits go clink clink clunk. It’s just, yeah, amazing. I can honestly say I really
don’t know how I would get over some of those challenges. And I think it’s amazing. It just shows what
a team can do. Well, I’ve had a really
fun day meeting you guys. It’s inspirational to me. I want to go away
and build more stuff. I’ll be looking out
for you in the future. Maybe there’s some
future droid builders that come and join our team. – My favorite part
of FIRST robotics is the skills that
you learn, both the technical skills and soft
skills like collaboration and communication. – Realizing that the design
process was pretty much the same for BB-8
and also our little robots was something that was,
I think, really inspiring. – This year, Disney
and Lucasfilm, [BEEPING] BB-8 and myself, are
teaming up with Global Robotics Community, FIRST as part of
the Star Wars Force for Change philanthropic initiative. We’re on a mission to
inspire the next generation of heroes and
innovators, and hopefully some future droid builders. [BEEPING] Learn how you can get involved
at firstinspires.org/firstrise. [ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYING]

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