BB8 robot programming platform?

Hi, sorry if I am posting this in the wrong part of the forum.
So I am planning on building a life size RC version of BB8 from the recent star wars movie. My only issue is that I am only really proficient at coding with the vex cortex in robotc. As this is expensive and I don’t really want to use a cortex and heavy batteries; I was wondering what you guys would recommend I use?
I was thinking Arduino, but some of the stuff like a bluetooth connection is beyond me. Maybe a lego mindstorm?

Alot of people just use rc receivers and then do elevon mixing if you do a design with wheels. If you use a different design, you would just assign the task to different channels on the transmitter. What design are you using for BB8?

Looked around online and I am going for a plate inside the sphere with two powered wheels to move the weight around.

What is elevon mixing?

like this?
or like this?

the latter.

elevon mixing is on an aircraft where the elevater (controls up and down) is mixed with the aileron (contorls rotating) It can be adapted for use on robots and is common on combat robots. here is a better explanation.

The amount of motors you will want to use you may end up back at Vex. Life size may take some bigger motors than you think. Life size gets big needing power. By the time you figure out all the h-bridges for arduino it gets a little unruly.

I ran across this on Flipboard the other day.

I read another article about the real bb8 having some mechanism on the top to slide that head rotating magnet thing on a slide for even more head effects. But I would start like this kid in the Philippines.

As for bluetooth, the first article above used an RC car app from a phone (genius!)
Then use the Bots N Stuff Bluetooth library for the connection management.

Then you need to figure out the message structure of the Bluetooth, and translate those commands into the motor commands for your bb8.

I estimate 200 hours of work for this project. Doable, frustrating at times, but time consuming. Yet oh so rewarding at the end!

If you want to break into the field of evolutionary robotics, you can check this out:
(This is for evolving a virtual robot in a physics engine).