This December the Star Wars series will conclude in some form or fashion with Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker. While the content of the movie is largely unknown, a new droid called “D-O” will be featured — vaguely reminiscent of BB-8, but with a wheel instead of a ball on the bottom powering it. Of course, the fact that the movie isn’t out yet hasn’t stopped hacker Matt Denton from building his own. Though he still has a few tweaks to take care of, what he’s got so far looks like a really entertaining droid.
The device situates most of the electronics inside the rather wide wheel that powers everything, including a battery pack and various drive components. An Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 provides computing power for the D-O, along with a MKR IMU shield and MKR Motor Carrier for control. Two DC motors with encoders power the unit, and a significant part of the video deals with Denton swapping out high power motors for medium power models for better control at the cost of a lower top speed.
This model D-O features a head cone with two speakers powered by an Adafruit Audio FX board, and an array of three servos to control apparently upcoming antennas. As of now, the head can make random sounds and tilt in a variety of directions. Everything is controlled by a handheld RC transmitter, and given how well the unfinished version works as of now, the final product should be fantastic!