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

Tags: , , ,

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

Tags: , , , ,

Video: Howard the Duck Animatronic Head

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.

Posted by Chris on February 12th, 2013 in Events | Comments Off on Video: Howard the Duck Animatronic Head


Hobby Expo

Some photos from this last weekends Hobby Expo in Petaluma, CA. It’s a relatively small show, focused on model builders. Fon Davis from Fonco Creative organizes a display room with larger models, some screen used. We were asked to participate with our replica droids.

Highlight of the show was the Model Maker Panel Discussion with local ILM Model Shop Alumni (incl. Don Bies, Nelson Hall, Kim Smith, Grant Imahara, John Goodson, Larry Tan, Charlie Bailey, Lorne Peterson.)

[Full Gallery]









Charlie Bailey brought along one of the original Howard the Duck animatronic heads and we all got to see it up close.


Posted by Chris on February 11th, 2013 in Events, General | Comments Off on Hobby Expo


Utility Arm Trimming

Someone recently asked how much I trimmed off my utility arms to get them to fit thru the skins. Here’s a quick photo. It maybe a little more than is needed, especially if you have resin arms which tend to be smaller – but once you add on a few layers of paint it was about right. It’s also very important that there’s no sag in the arms as they open up. I can guarantee you’ll have issue if there is.


Posted by Chris on February 11th, 2013 in Body | Comments Off on Utility Arm Trimming