There are fans who live and breathe Star Wars – they’ve seen all the movies and know and follow all the canons. They buy merchandise to further express their love for the saga, many probably have a collection of them.
And then there are those who make their own.
One such fan is Angelo Casimiro, an unassuming but brainy Physics student from De La Salle University in the Philippines. Although he says he wasn’t much of a Star Wars fan, not until he saw the latest one.
The 17-year-old has been making YouTube videos for almost 5 years now and has been building DIY gadgets and gizmos since he was just 4.
His latest project: a smartphone-controlled life-size BB-8 – exactly like the one in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens – except he built it using household materials and Arduino circuitry.
“When I saw BB-8 in the movie, it was like love at first sight. He was just so adorable! BB8’s spherical design also intrigued me, how it worked,” Casimiro told GadgetMatch.
He used half a Christmas ball for the eye, a deodorant cap for the mic, an old router antenna for the antenna, and roll-on deodorant balls for BB-8’s mechanism. Everything cost him about $120 (approximately P5,700), cheaper than Sphero’s miniature BB-8 Droid.
It doesn’t have hologram capabilities and doesn’t respond to voice commands yet, but his version of BB-8 rolls, patrols, and makes droid sounds like its movie and Sphero counterparts.
He says anyone can make his own BB-8, if people would follow his tutorial carefully. He also posted the full written tutorial on instructables.com – something he’s been doing since he was 10.
Planning the project came naturally to him as he already has a lot of experience in robotics. He is, in fact, a National Robotics champion. He has also competed in several international competitions including the Google Science Fair and the International Robotics Olympiad.
It was his grandfather who got him into electronics but he also comes from a family of scientists. His father is a medical doctor and his uncle is one of the known Filipino scientists today. They both helped add finishing touches to BB-8.
While the adorable droid is not as useful and practical as his other projects, the mechanism is there. He says it can also be used to create spherical vehicles. His ultimate dream is to mass manufacture a Filipino-made solar-powered car.
For now, he’s tweaking and working on improving his droid’s stability as it’s due to appear on TV soon.
He also still has more projects lined up for his channel, as well as some written tutorials: The DIY Bluetooth Boombox, The Portable Fridge Lunchbox, The Portaverter (220v power bank).
“Making something work is really rewarding! I also earn money from it. So far, BB8’s my favorite (project). I get the ideas from things around me. I’m just thankful God gave me a mind creative enough for the knowledge I have for making things,” he said.
All photos c/o Angelo Casimiro
The Mi TV P1 is a great first TV
A good self reward
I still vaguely remember the first TV I ever bought. It was, if I recall correctly, a 24-inch Samsung TV. That was already a big deal for me at the time. I just landed a producer job at an online news outlet and got my first major salary bump. As someone who enjoyed watching TV shows and movies, I thought I’d treat myself by graduating from watching on a laptop.
The TV wasn’t anything crazy. It wasn’t smart either. At the time, Smart TVs weren’t as prevalent as they are today and it would have cost maybe two months worth of my salary then. But this TV I bought had what I needed. It can read from flash drives and external hard drives, and it has an HDMI port. That thing cost me somewhere between PhP 15,000 to PhP 18,000.
Fast forward to today, I would have been able to afford a pretty big screen 4K TV now with that money. Specifically, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1. Here are the price ranges for its various sizes:
- 55″ — PhP 24,990
- 50″ — PhP 22,990
- 43″ — PhP 18,990
The same TV line also has a 32-inch variant at PhP 10,990 but it isn’t 4K so I excluded it from the list. By these standards, I would have been able to afford the 43-incher. Or perhaps, I would have opted to save up a little more to grab either of the 50-inch or 55-inch variants.
But even the 43-incher is already worlds better than what I had bought back then. I’m sure it’s a fantastic option for most people today. We already have an extensive review of the Mi TV P1. But indulge me in this little piece to share why I think it’s a great first TV.
Elevate your entertainment
One of my primary considerations for buying a TV was to give my laptop (and perhaps it’s a smartphone now for most people today) a break. I think it goes a long way to prolonging your laptop’s lifespan if after a long day of work, you’re not pushing it further to watch a few episodes of your favorite series.
At the time I was religiously following TV series like Suits, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, and many, many more. It was my way to unwind and destress at night. The kind of shows or content we watch has shifted a little to more K-Dramas and plenty of YouTube creators. But whatever you choose to watch to unwind, it’s almost always better on a TV.
The UHD screen on the Mi TV P1 is no joke. It even looks good even in brightly lit rooms. You can also tweak the settings to get the kind of picture that your eyes find pleasing. My personal settings lean towards a vivid picture quality but not too much that it compromises the cinematic integrity of what I’m watching.
It’s just an overall treat to your eyes. And watching shows and movies just feels more natural this way.
Encourages legitimate streaming
Let’s face it, we didn’t always access our favorite shows from legitimate sources. Owning a Smart TV discourages that old behavior. The ease of access to streaming sites like Netflix, HBO Go, and Viu is near frictionless. And there are a variety of subscription plans that fit your needs.
You can even be creative with your streaming budget. You can rotate among these apps every month or so. You’ll just have to plan which shows you want to watch, and line them up to when you want to watch. What I do is I have Netflix on retainer so I always have it, then month-to-month I switch between HBO Go and Viu. It just depends on where the shows I want to watch are.
It’s so much easier to fire up the TV, hit a streaming app, and watch away vs having to acquire shows in less than ideal means.
What’s more, you can install ExpressVPN directly on the TV. With it you can change regions and gain access to content and apps you otherwise would not have access to. If you’re worried about the subscription fee, there’s a nice offer here.
Home entertainment centerpiece
Looking back, I really wish the Mi TV P1 was already available when I made my first TV purchase. I’m constantly fascinated by how much of what was then considered high-end tech is now available to more people.
What Xiaomi has here is pretty much more of the same of what they usually offer — a product with a fantastic price-to-performance ratio. The Mi TV P1 is no premium TV, but I’d argue it’s the best value for money you can get.
If you’re looking to splurge a little on a big ticket item, the Mi TV P1 is an easy recommendation. If I were back in my situation as a young professional looking to reward myself, this is certainly it.
5 ways to enjoy Huawei’s MatePad gift bundles
There’s plenty to do!
Tablets are always a convenient tool for users to enjoy, whether they’re looking for entertainment or simply unwinding.
As the holiday season is fast-approaching, Huawei is offering customers gift bundles for its MatePad tablet series for them to score exciting promos while saving on huge freebies.
Whether it’s a gift for yourself, an early Christmas gift, or an investment for the next year, the Huawei gift bundles campaign includes everything from budget tablets to premium ones to help grant those wishes.
Five ways to enjoy
With more than 141,000 apps available on AppGallery, users can unlock new ways to be entertained and inspired at their fingertips especially nowadays with safety guidelines outside still in place.
As the year winds down, here are five ways to begin a new journey in 2022 with the HUAWEI MatePad series:
1. Reconnect with your loved ones online
Stay connected to your friends and family over the holidays with a variety of essential social media platforms ready for download on AppGallery and Petal Search.
That includes WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter!
2. Catch a movie marathon
Whether it means staying up to date with local dramas on MeWatch or catching the latest blockbusters on HBO Go, keep your serotonin flowing with the immersive displays and sound systems tuned by Harmon Kardon on the Huawei MatePad tablets.
Apps that you could consider include HUAWEI Video, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, and Twitch so you don’t miss out on safe and sound Christmas bonding sessions at home.
3. Maximize productivity
With apps like Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Office, Teams, and Outlook at your disposal, staying productive amidst the Christmas rush is a breeze.
You can also keep an eye on your kid’s tablet use with a smart monitoring solution like Plano or amp your multi-tasking game with Huawei’s multi-window and multi-screen collaboration feature on the tablets.
4. Explore your creative side
With infinite possibilities on a digital canvas, you don’t have to worry about paper wastage or harming the environment.
Whether you’re a pro or just starting to find your inner artist, the Huawei M-Pencil gives a realistic drawing experience equipped with pixel-level precision.
Take a stroke of faith with Nebo, ibisPaint X, Concepts available from AppGallery.
5. Find your flow with journaling
The world can get a little noisy at times. Take a moment to disconnect and develop a calmer mind through journaling with suggested apps like Journey, Grid Diary, and Calm.
Gift bundles to choose from
Huawei has four packages available depending on what plans you have for a tablet. All deals include a free gift bundle worth as much as SG$ 396.
|MatePad model||Retail price||Free gift bundle||Best for|
|HUAWEI MatePad||SGSG$ 448
(U.P. SGSG$ 498)
Get it for only SG$ 398 during the Lazada Huawei Brand Sale from October 26 to 28
|Smart Magnetic Keyboard worth SG$ 148||Families looking for a
for work and for fun.
Includes a Kirin 820
chipset, Wi-Fi 6 and
|HUAWEI MatePad 11||SG$ 698||Worth SG$ 346:
||Young adults and
students looking for a
Includes a 120 Hz
refresh rate for a
experience and a DCI –
P3 colour gamut
|HUAWEI MatePad Pro 10.8”||SG$ 998||Worth SG$ 254:
productivity machine at
home, school, or the
Includes 10.8 inch 2K
Display with a 4.9mm
ultra slim bezel body.
Up to 11 hours of
|HUAWEI MatePad Pro 12.6”||SG$ 1,398||Worth SG$ 396:
Features a powerful
capacity and a large
12.6 inch OLED
Pricing and availability
The promotion will run from October 26 to November 30, 2021 and will be available at all Huawei Authorized Stores, selected consumer electronic stores including Best Denki, Challenger & Hachi.tech, COURTS, Gain City, Harvey Norman, Sprint-Cass, and Huawei official online stores in Lazada and Shopee.
Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro Unboxing
The best Pixel yet?
After a series of leaks from many months ago, Google has finally unveiled the newest Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to the public (take note of the new ‘Pro’ branding instead of ‘XL’ from the Pixel 4 series).
If you’ve been a long-time Pixel follower, you’d know it’s the biggest Pixel redesign ever. From the modern look and feel, to that new horizontal camera strip. Everything went north from the Pixel 5’s less remarkable design language.
Without further ado, here’s our Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro unboxing in Sorta Seafoam and Cloudy White colorways.
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