look identical on the outside,
however, on the inside things can be
done VERY differently on each droid.
The system used to rotate the dome,
the system used to drive the wheels,
the various accessories such as the
periscope, holoprojector eye motion,
and the like may or may not be in
every droid. Also, the internal wiring,
motor speed controllers, sound
system, radio control, and sound
playback systems vary from droid to
droid (Figure 6). History has also
shown that a broad range of material
may be used to create these droids. A
basic static unit (i.e., non-motorized)
can be made from relatively simple
■ FIGURE 5. Model Stirling
engine by Rick Abbott.
materials such as a
section of cardboard tube
concrete form, wood for
legs, and a painted acrylic
“squirrel shield” for a
dome. The more advanced
builders sometimes go for
a complete aluminum
droid made from all
machined metal parts. I
have seen resin and wood
R2 units that are beautiful
to behold (Figure 7), but
for me a full-aluminum R2-D2 is the
most exciting as it has the look and
feel of a “real” droid. I’m really
looking forward to Rick finishing his.
THE R2-D2 ROBOT
How the Club works
The Club is as much a social
club as it is a technical forum; feel
free to discuss any experiences you
have had building your droid.
If you wish to ask something
or discuss something that is not
directly related to building an R2,
just place an OT: (Off Topic)
designation in the title of your post.
For example, if you wish to discuss
the color of C3P0 and you think
someone in the group may be able
to help, you may title it something like
OT: C3P0 colors?
Please note, that while the club
is willing to discuss some topics not
directly related to R2, you should not
drift too far from the subject. Also,
we do not under any circumstances
discuss anything which may be
considered “profiteering.” We do not
sell parts for profit or sell complete
R2s, as this would breach copyright
rules. We also do not discuss VCDs
or DVDs, which have been pirated or
downloaded off the net. We do not
allow SPAM or sales pitches or
advertising for any other products.
Also note the group individuals
do not make a habit of answering
questions via private email, as usually
if the question is worth asking, it is
worth posting to the group.
However, should a member decide
that the information is not worth
posting to the group they may then
elect to continue a private conversation
with the person with the question.
Remember, we do NOT sell
Legalities: Copyright Generalization
To create replicas of
ANYBODY’S intellectual property
(including but not limited to
Lucasfilms) is NOT a violation of any
copyright law on the books today.
To display PICTURES of a REPLICA
of somebody’s intellectual property
and label it as such with no
deception intended is NOT a
violation of any copyright law on the
books today. To create a replica of
somebody’s intellectual property and
then try to SELL it for a profit (even
as little as one cent) IS a violation of
copyright law. To create a replica of
somebody’s intellectual property and
then try to REPRESENT it as the
ORIGINAL (even if it’s not for profit)
IS a violation of copyright law.
What will it cost me?
This question has SO many
variables. The main one is you and
what kind of handyman you are. You
can spend anything from $100 to
$3,000 depending on materials,
finishes, and electronics.
If you make the parts yourself,
the cost can be in the low/mid
hundreds, taking a year or two. If
you buy most parts, the cost can be
in the thousands and take about a
year. If you add motors and R/C, add
on several months and a couple
hundred. You have to factor in how
handy you are, how much time you
want to put into this, and what you
want your R2 to do.
It also depends if you have a
good set of tools to work with; the
actual costs of materials can be
quite inexpensive, however if you
are required to buy tools you do not
have to build it, then that becomes
an added cost.
It will also depend on what
material you want your parts made
of: plastic, aluminum, or wood.
The finished result will be up to
you; even a very cheaply built R2
can be very accurate.
A good recommendation is to
leave the electronics/motors and R/C
equipment purchases till last. This
way, if your budget changes or your
building designs change you will not
be spending money on equipment
that you may not need at the end.
These are also the more expensive
parts of any droid.
Where do I get a kit?
You will not find an “R2-D2 in
a Box” type kit from this club. This
group is based on communicating
with each other on how we built our
own droids. You will find a number
of members offer individual parts
but not an entire kit.
Try posting what you’re looking
for, one or two individual parts at a
time. The people that supply those
parts will be able to contact you.
The above excerpt is courtesy of the R2BC
and the robotbuilders.net website. The
complete FAQ is available at www.robot
May 2008 81