These things are a bit sci-fi looking -- and that's no surprise. One of the original points of inspiration for the SPHERES -- you guessed it: Star Wars. The lightsaber training droid that Obi-Wan Kenobi deploys to test young Skywalker looks almost identical. The inspiration was not, thankfully, the Interrogation Droid, but it isn't far from that, either.
A space shuttle is the wallpaper on the Google Nexus S which is part of the SPHERES. The Nexus S' displays have been covered with a clear tape to prevent glass fragments from inundating the delicate environment on the International Space Station should an accident result in a shattered screen.