KRON4 News Maker Faire Special

Excerpt from the 1hr Make Faire special that was televised on 7/23 on KRON4


Posted by Chris on August 25th, 2014 in Events | Comments Off on KRON4 News Maker Faire Special

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R2 Army

I helped build a robot army!

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.


Posted by Chris on February 20th, 2014 in Events, General | 1 Comment

Dimension Engineering are awesome

Big thanks to Dimension Engineering who went above and beyond to help me recently.

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.

Cheers guys if you’re seeing this.

Posted by Chris on May 16th, 2013 in Electronics | Comments Off on Dimension Engineering are awesome


Bay Area MakerFaire 2011 – NBC Interview

Interview with NBC Today for the 2011 MakerFaire

Youtube Link

Posted by Chris on May 2nd, 2013 in Events | Comments Off on Bay Area MakerFaire 2011 – NBC Interview


Shapeoko CNC Router

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.

Posted by Chris on March 29th, 2013 in CNC | 2 Comments


Golden R2 Drink Tray

It’s been almost two three 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.


Posted by Chris on February 26th, 2013 in General | Comments Off on Golden R2 Drink Tray

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Bad Droid


New T from RIPT Apparel


Posted by Chris on February 14th, 2013 in General | 2 Comments


New Stealth Controller

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:


See also:

Posted by Chris on February 12th, 2013 in Electronics | Comments Off on New Stealth Controller

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