Bring out the droids!

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Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Bring out the droids!

And speaking of Star Wars...  Where are the live action, honest to goodness droids?!

This isn't going to be like the flying cars thing, is it?!  Where they promise us R2's and 3P0's for decades but we never get them?!  Is it?

   

And no talking heads, either!  *wink*

TechFreak
TechFreak's picture

-Sigh- im not to big on star wars... dont get me wrong.. its kool and all but... give it a rest... when will the nerdiness end?! i rather have a girl friend thank u.

Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture

What are you talking about!?  Nerdiness is IN!  But I admit to nerdiness nonetheless.  But this is a robot site, seems like at least a bit of nerdiness should be assumed.  Cool

LUKE01
LUKE01's picture

hey man hasbro makes a great R2D2 droid fully voice activated a real nice robot. shows emotions it gets sad when you make it go to time out or if you ask him about darth vader he gets real scared and starts shaking. and it can carry a full beer over shag carpet. sells for 119.00 not bad price im getting one i hope. you should check it out.

crazyeyes
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Has anyone ever open a R2 unit to see what it like?

PS:Don't blame me if I was stupid,i am just an 8 year old

Paulwa
Paulwa's picture

My R2D2I built this little 3 lb. coffee can R2 back in 1977 and have canabalized his parts over the years. Now I am starting to redesign him with new elctronics. Long term project..but I love the little guy.

Hope the pix uploaded properly. If not I will try again.

Got the pix uploaded but can't get it into my post. Anyway my little R2 is in my little pix by my name. He is on my workbench.

Paul

MrScott
MrScott's picture

Pics are pretty easy (at least they should be).

When you're editing your post, there is a small icon on the menu bar that is a tree against a blue sky. Roll your mouse over that  and the "Insert/edit image" label appears. Click on it for a dialoge for specifying the location of a picture to add to your post.

The "Image URL" field can be used to paste the web space reference for an image you're already uploaded. It needs to be a URL for a service that allows picture linking. Many free photo-hosts don't allow direct linking to their photos.

 The file selector widget to your right of the Image URL field can be used to select and upload an image that's on your PC.

As for the Droids, I have a soft spot in my heart for R2D2. I have dozens of little versions of R2 units that I've collected over the past 20 years. I tolerate C3PO. The Communication and Protocol droids seem too much of a characature of a droid, in my opinion. R2 units appear engineered for function, not form, just like a real repair droid would be. I could see an R2 unit in our future. Not so much so, the golden bumbler.

Paulwa
Paulwa's picture

Yep! I am more fond of R2  also. I like the little droids in Disneys 'Black Hole' movie too but they are less realistic. When I first built my R2 I had him hard wired to a remote controller with about 7 feet of wire and me and the kids would chase our white english setter around the house with R2 hot on his tail. Rudy our dog was scared to death of the little cannister who rolled relentless behind him. Later I made him more autonomous and was working on a sound direction finder for his head to rotate toward. I had two condenser mic's on his head, one for each ear and an IC circuit that would turn his head toward the sound where it was the loudest...but his head would just shimmy back and forth uncontollably and that is where I stopped. Over the years from 77 I just robbed parts such as the stereo preamp and the main circuit board controller then the little 7.5  volt motorcycle battery so that the only thing left is the motors to the drive wheels. I never got his brain figured out so that is my next mission. I don't want to use the Stamp controller or others that require programming. I want him to be as autonomous as possible with discrete components on my own circuit board and using current IC's on the market with SCR's and Triac's and transistors and outboard components available. I intend to use ROM's and readable/writeable memories also for short term mem's and long term for routines that react to certain stimuli. Haven't decided on the power unit for him as yet. May have to do a lot of creative thinking before I start rebuilding him again. Need to figure out what he will be and how he will be and how he will do it all. Probly never get him done but I will sure learn a lot. I don't like the methods and direction AI is headed in robotics. There surely must be easier ways to accomplish AI even if it is more bulky in size. Got a lot of learning to do.

Paul

Nocturnal
Nocturnal's picture

Hey Paul,

You may want to check out astromech.net (assuming they launch the new site soon), its a site dedicated to people building their own R2's. They even have the blueprints the original R2's were built from.

Paulwa
Paulwa's picture

Thanks, Nocturnal. I'll check it out. Should be very helpful.

Paul

Paulwa
Paulwa's picture

They aren't online with the website yet but I will be looking for them.

Paul

MrScott
MrScott's picture

When I was in elementary school (pre-Star Wars, that), I read "Andy Buckram's Tin Men". It inspired me to assemble my own tin men from assorted soup and coffee cans.

The first couple were poseable with batteries and light bulb eyes. Cotter pins and springs were used to allow joint movement. I got around to something roughly like the Lost In Space B9 Robot with a motor driven uni-foot. This was all back when calculators were hundreds of dollars, and Heathkit ruled the home electronics do-it-yourself scene.

I eventually got to a series of things I labeled Cybernetic Creations. The last that got built, in early High School (still pre-StarWars), was a machine that was hardwired to answer a set of yes-no questions. A set of multi-position switches would switch through AND and OR (series and parallel) connections to light one of two bulbs. It's predecssor was a foot tall roller that was sort of a cross between an as yet unseen Daelek and R2. It had two drive wheels, an electro-magnet "nose" for carrying things, and a touch sensor to stop it from rolling when it bumped into things.

I had plans drawn up for a robot based on an oil drum and trash can as the body. I was dabbling with home crafted pneumatic cylinders connected to wooden armatures for limbs. 

Right about then Star Wars showed up, and R2 was debuted. 

Then it was off to college, and an opportunity to play with real industrial robots.  

Paulwa
Paulwa's picture

Mr. Scott, tell me more about the motor driven uni-foot. I had a similar idea I think.

Paul

MrScott
MrScott's picture

It was ages ago. As I recall, I mounted my Erector set AC powered motor inside a fruit cake tin. The  gear train was already in place, so I just used a belt to a set of wheels in the base.

Above that was a "leg" fashioned from something like a HiC can. On top of that was the body made from a 3lb coffee can. various other cans made up the arms and head.

Yup. It was corded. It wouldn't wander too far without reaching the end of its tether.

Like I said, it vaguely resembled the Lost In Space Robot. 

Paulwa
Paulwa's picture

Oh then different from my idea. I want to build and document my idea and post it but that will be sometime in the future. I think it will grab some attention when I do it.

Paul

Paulwa
Paulwa's picture

Nocturnal I finally did a search for Astromech and found a live site at astromech factory and so I have finally made connection.

Thanks

Paul

Teese
Teese's picture

You're cool!