Posts Tagged ‘R2-D2 Builders’

R2-D2 Hits the Basketball Court Team | January 31, 2011

Photos: Nate Billings

It was a proper Star Wars invasion at the University of Colorado and the University of Oklahoma game at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011.

Darth Vader, R2-D2, members of the 501st Legion, and Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew were also in attendance.

Check more photos here.

R2-D2 With a Human Inside! Team | September 23, 2010

Check out this awesome R2-D2 that’s big enough for a full-size person to fit in! R2-D2′s body is made out of a plastic barrel equipped with sounds, internal fans, LEDs, motors and a rotating dome.

VIDEO: Larger than life motorized R2-D2

Romancing the Droid: Why I Married R2-D2

Bonnie Burton | August 18, 2010

photos: Amanda Jean Camarillo & Jenny Elwick

Sometimes a girl just has to follow her heart no matter where it may lead.

After suffering through too many broken hearts thanks to dating boys who never quite appreciated my geek girl ways, I made a vow never to give my heart to anyone ever again who rolled their eyes when I attempted a Wookiee roar. I guess you could say I was looking for love in Alderaan places.

There’s nothing wrong with humans. I just find them to be a bit boring. They rarely have a screwdriver handy when you need it. They never seem interested in listening about your day. They always get lost on trips. They refuse to go out dancing. They hate relaying complicated messages to your friends. They’re so insecure with who they are; they never know what they want or how to express their true feelings.

R2-D2 puts all you human boys to shame. He’s got a built-in GPS (so says Uncle George) so he never gets lost. Plus you should see Artoo’s dance moves! And yes, he’s got more gadgets and charm than James Bond himself.

I’ve always had a secret crush on Artoo ever since I first saw him in A New Hope. Granted, I was just a kid then. What did I know about astromech love? But I kept a special place in my heart for him, fully knowing I may never meet him face to dome. It wasn’t until many years later when I landed a job as Lucasfilm that I took my chance and made the first move.


R2-D2 Builders at Maker Faire Team | May 27, 2010

Every year robot builders, inventors, MythBusters and craftsters gather for a giant celebration of science geekery called Maker Faire.

And you can’t have a robot gathering without our friends the Bay Area R2 Builders Group showing up to inspire Star Wars fans of all ages to make their own astromech sidekick.

The astromechs were out in full force spinning, whirring and beeping at the crowd that constantly followed the R2 units or came to visit them in the robot area of the fair. Even amongst the other iconic robots from Lost in Space and The Forbidden Planet, and the impressive Tesla Coils, the R2 Builders were the real stars of the fair.

Every time we follow around R2 and his makers around Comic-Con, WonderCon, Celebration, and Maker Faire, we love to see kids pose with, hug, kiss, pet and even have full conversations with R2-D2. He might just be the most lovable robot in the galaxy.

Check out R2-D2 in action:

WATCH VIDEO: R2-D2 chats with a little boy

WATCH VIDEO: R2-D2 at Maker Faire 2010

PHOTOS: R2-D2 Builders at Bay Area Maker Faire.

R2-D2 Builders at WonderCon Team | April 19, 2010

Everyone wants R2-D2 as a co-pilot but very few fans have the time and commitment to build one from scratch. It takes a very special breed of fan to not only put in the time, but the money, blood, sweat and tears it takes to make a bunch of parts into an astromech worth showing off.


At this year’s WonderCon in San Francisco the R2 Builders Club gathered for their annual panel to discuss not only what it takes to build an astromech, but also the tricks of the trade for would-be Anakins and Jawas in the audience.


Star Wars at Maker Faire 2009 Team | June 3, 2009

Any convention that mixes R2-D2, Tesla coils, fire-breathing sculptures, a human-size mousetrap, art cars, unusual inventions and crafts is bound to have something for everyone.

Bay Area Maker Faire — May 30-31, 3009 — brought together craftsters, robot wranglers, science geeks, rocket builders, Burning Man artists, steampunks and more.


iPhone-controlled R2-D2

Bonnie Burton | May 11, 2009

Is there anything the iPhone can’t do? A talented fan decided the best way to control his life-sized astromech would be with his iPhone.

I found a way to remote control my R2-D2 with an iPhone. In the videos I demonstrate controlling a servo and the dome motor using an iPhone using the accelerometer (tilting the iPhone controls it) and using a slider control on the touch screen. Other touch screen controls are possible too such as rotary controls, buttons, XY controls, and multitouch as well as gestures.

I should be able to interface with my J.E.D.I display as well and type in text messages in the iPhone that will scroll across the front or rear logic displays. (Cue evil mad scientist laughter ) Muh ha ha ha ha!!

WATCH VIDEOS: Remote control R2-D2 with an iPhone

Continue to read about iPhone R2-D2 here:
Glenn’s Astromech Weblog

SOURCE: MAKE magazine

WonderCon 2009: R2-D2 Builders Team | March 5, 2009

R2-D2 goes where the action is, so it shouldn’t be surprised that he and his droid pals invaded this year’s WonderCon as usual. Fans ran up and hugged, kissed, patted and posed with everyone’s favorite astromech droid. Those lucky attendees who wanted the ins and outs of droid building got a special treat with the “R2-D2 Droid Building Basics” panel on Saturday.

R2-D2 builders Chris James, Ryan Goff, Steve Simmons, and David Calkins shared their experiences and demonstrated working droids. They chatted about materials, tools needed, basic electronics, and radio control information to make your own Artoo beep, move and save the day.

Special guest Don Bies, former ILM model maker and Star Wars Episodes II and III droid wrangler also showed up to encourage fans to channel their inner Anakin (the good one, not the baddie). chatted with R2-D2 builder Chris James about what it feels like to be daddy to his own R2-D2.

Can you describe what the R2-D2 Builders group is all about?

We’re a loosely organized international group of fans who love to build droids and share them with the world. Founded in 1999, the club has continually striven to develop resources to allow others to accurately reproduce their own astromech droids. We know have almost 8,000 members, but I would say there’s closer to 500 active builders at any one time. We make all sort of astromechs, not just R2-D2, but that’s were our roots are. Some of you may have also seen R2-KT (; she was build by members of the club.

What tips did you give would-be builders at your WonderCon panel?

It’s hard to cover much in an hour, but we try and give an overview of what can be done, demo our droids, and cover the tools, different materials and skills needed to get started.

The four top tips are always — planning, patients, do lots of research, and know your limitations. Without following these basic tips you can quickly make some expensive mistakes. Oh! And the fifth tip — Don’t try stuffing the electronics from a Hasbro Interactive Droid in a life-size Artoo. You don’t want a 200 lb droid running you over.


R2 Builders Profiled in Servo Team | May 28, 2008

Go inside the creative world of the R2 Builders Club thanks to an extensive profile in the May 2008 issue of Servo magazine for the robot innovator.

Craig Smith advises prospective members about the amount of time it takes to create a droid: “R2 built from scratch or built from club parts is not a quick project. It will take months to complete a static, non-moving display — even years for a motorized version. When I look at the parts on my droid, I recall the week it took to make the shoulders, the days it took to make the ankle covers, the days it took to re-make the ankles themselves because I did not offset them correctly. And there are dozens more parts on the droid with similar memories. A project such as this is a huge commitment!”

Read the full article here:
The R2 Builders Club and the Jedi Code

R2-D2 Builders at Maker Faire 2008

Bonnie Burton | May 27, 2008

It’s everyone’s favorite droid! IEEE Spectrum talked with R2-D2 builder Steve Simmons at Maker Faire to find out how the Star Wars droids work.

VIDEO: Maker Faire 2008: R2-D2 Builders

VIDEO: Artoo dancing with children at Maker Faire 2008

For more info about R2 Builders, check out