19

In-universe, how is BB-8's head adhered to his body?

enter image description here

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    Haven't seen any material on it, but as an engineering problem, I'd approach it this way. Gyroscopes inside the ball keep an orientation against which to rotate the body for motion. Those same gyroscopes could keep an arrangement of magnets near the 'top' that suspend the 'head'. So ..magnets. – Andrew Thompson Dec 14 '15 at 19:23
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    Magnets! – user31178 Dec 14 '15 at 19:24
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    Duct Tape! – Xantec Dec 15 '15 at 0:03
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    The design of BB8 is so perfect. Really captured the feel of droids in the classic trilogy; has an R2D2-ness about it while also being quite fresh and different. ❤️ – zipquincy Dec 15 '15 at 0:11
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    Magnets: xkcd.com/413 – b_jonas Dec 16 '15 at 12:51
12

To add (and hopefully canonically replace?) Praxis's excellent answer: BB-8's head is held via magnetism using magnetic casters.

From TFA Visual Dictionary, we have both the explanation, and the diagram:

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    Good answer, DVK. I fully expected that something more detailed than a pillow would arise after the film was released. :-) – Praxis Dec 21 '15 at 5:00
  • Is there any mention what would happen if BB8 would lose power? Just loosing the head would look like a design flaw... – bdecaf Dec 21 '15 at 8:08
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    @bdecaf: Quickening? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 21 '15 at 11:08
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    @DVK - Wouldn't that mean that his designation would be B-Oni-1? – Valorum Jan 6 '16 at 20:36
  • @Richard: THWACK! – Martha Jan 6 '16 at 20:49
14

Magnets

As commenters have noted below the question, the obvious answer is magnets, but it was surprisingly hard to find an official confirmation of this.

The most common in-universe schematic of BB-8 that seems to be going around is the one directly below, which comes from a licensed card set. It unfortunately does not highlight the components or mechanism responsible for keeping the head attached to the body:

enter image description here

Branching out, I found this licensed cushion that is available, for example, at StarWarsBedroom.com:

enter image description here

The sketch on the cushion has an arrow labelled magnetic balancing, pointing at where the head sits on the body.

  • 2
    +1 for invoking to the ubiquitous this pillow meme – ThePopMachine Dec 14 '15 at 21:59
  • @ThePopMachine : I'm always on the lookout for an opportunity to extend the meme. Anything else you need for this answer? :-) – Praxis Dec 15 '15 at 0:00
  • this pillow meme? – user20155 Dec 15 '15 at 0:57
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    @Praxis: I believe you mean, I'm always on the lookout for an opportunity to nag about acceptance – ThePopMachine Dec 15 '15 at 1:25
  • @LegoStormtroopr: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/1289/… – ThePopMachine Dec 15 '15 at 1:48
5

Its my understanding that they actually made a working, patented roller-ball droid (besides the various props they created). It used MAGNETS, like everyone said.

Here appears to be the patent and here is some more information

  • 3
    Welcome to SFF:SE. While your answer is interesting, we should point out that the question is asking for in-universe (i.e. how is BB-8 supposed to work from the point of view of the story). – Praxis Dec 14 '15 at 23:33

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