The New York Times reports on how Bob Iger help eate the BB-8 “roll-around” that appeared at Star Wars Celebration. During filming, the droid was pushed by special effects personnel who were then digitally removed from the shot. This precluded a character for public events or park appearances. Bob put Lucasfilm in touch with Sphero, a Colorado start-up that had been selected to participate in the Disney Accelerator program. Sphero is the maker of a $129 smartphone-controlled robotic ball who was able to come up with a self propelling version of BB-8. Bob Iger directed Sphero to partner with Disney Consumer Products to create a home version of BB-8 that will be available at Disney Store and other retailers. The larger version will appear at Disney theme parks.

The next round of Disney Accelerator will begin July 6.