Toy Star Wars robot controlled by 'The Force'

Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:30pm EST
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By Ben Gruber

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (Reuters) - Millions of people, young and old, dream of being a Jedi Knight, using the 'Force' to manipulate the world around them with supernatural powers.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, toy company Sphero unveiled a wearable device that gives users the ability to control a miniature version of the latest lovable robot from the Star Wars Universe with Jedi powers.   

"It's a gesture based wearable. So you control BB-8 with authentic Jedi-like movements like force pull and push," said Clair Tindall, a spokesperson for Colorado-based tech toy company Sphero. 

The device is called a 'force band' and it's packed with sensors that measure the orientation of a user's hand. That data is then transmitted to the robot which maneuvers accordingly.

The miniature robot, which currently can be controlled using a smartphone, was initially released last year to coincide with the release of the latest Star Wars blockbuster, 'The Force Awakens'. 

The wearable 'Force Band' controller is expected to be released in the Autumn of 2016.

"We are still in the prototype phase now. So we are iterating on the technology and building more features into the band. So I look forward to see what the full version will become this Fall," said Tindall.

Given the record breaking success of the latest movie in the Star Wars franchise, it's a good bet that the 'Force' will be very strong with this tech toy.