This photo is from last years Bay Area Maker Faire. When Gerard and I started attending in 2008, there was only two of us. Now there must be at least 15 replica R2′s in the SF Bay Area, with new people joining all the time. It may look easy, but it’s typically a multi-year commitment to build one of these, and there is no kit. Some of these are all metal, many are wood or plastic but you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. All are awesome.
Make Faire is May 18th and 19th this year, at the usual place – San Mateo Fair Grounds.
I’ve been using their speed controllers in projects for almost 10 years without fail. A few weeks ago I accidentally killed one of my beloved Syren10′s thru a dumb mistake. DM came thru and fixed it promptly for free even thought it was entirely my doing.
I’ve taken the plunged and bought myself a Shapeoko CNC router. It’s an open source hardware platform and comes as a kit. A bunch of other builders are going down the same path and it’s going to be fun to share some ideas.
In it’s basic form it’s a small hobby desktop router, but most people hack it to do a lot more. I ordered the mechanical kit from Instructables and sourced the electronics from various places as I wanted to go a slightly different route than the default option.
Most the parts arrived this week so I’m in the middle of assembling it. The machine uses MakerSlide and is easily expanded to have a much larger work area. Here’s a quick shot of where I am right now, but tomorrow I’ll be replacing the X/Y Axis with longer lengths so I can mill out larger Artoo parts like the skins.
Plan is to start work on a styrene droid once I’ve got the machine up and running and calibrated.
It’s been almost twothree years to the day since I last worked on my drinks tray. This may have something to do with BarBot happening this time of year. In fact it’s this Friday and Saturday in San Francisco, and Grant and I will be there with Artoo. Last time we made do with grey primer but I couldn’t let another year go by without doing it more justice.
I finally added some gold paint to finish it off. Well, as finished as it’s ever going to be. I got tired of filling and sanding all the layers that it’s made up from. The outer one’s are pretty smooth but the inner groves aren’t perfect.
Paint is Rustoleum Metallic Gold on top of white primer. I was hoping to get a more red-ish gold color, but selection at Home Depot is limited. It has a hint of red in it and is more yellow in person – which is what I wanted. This metallic has a tendency to sputter and drip, so be careful.
Should be pretty easy to get it reassembled and I may throw on some weathering to bring out the detail.
A couple of years ago I developed a pocketable, palm-held joystick system for my Artoo. It started off as an add-on to my PS2/XBee setup but quickly became obvious it should be standalone controller.
Current prototype (Feb 2013) – operator uses two of these to control a droid.
With this system, I can stand next to my Artoo and no one has a clue I’m the one driving. I can have conversations with other observers, or even go as far as standing in line for photos with my Artoo. Artoo can even appear to be autonomous and respond to “verbal” commands. When in fact I’m using simple gestures on the joystick to trigger things.
Although I have more complex control options configured in my droid, during the last few years, I’ve had the most fun wrangling with my Pocket Remotes. It’s proven to be reliable and a real crowd-pleaser.
So, as you can imagine, I’ve gotten repeated requests to offer this technology to the club and beyond.
Right now I’m in the process of refining and simplifying the design to make it more useable by many more people. I have several new prototypes on my bench and will be conducting 3rd party field tests shortly.
I’m currently working on an enclosure, which may end up looking something like this:
Not exactly Artoo related, but at the Hobby Expo Charlie Bailey (ILM Model Shop Alumni) brought along an animatronic Howard the Duck head to show and tell. It was loaded with tiny Futaba servos and I can only imagine how much they cost back then. We used many of the same control principles to control our droid gadgets.