Deus Ex Machina
Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to have my own R2-D2. Well, maybe not
an exact duplicate, but certainly one of the "R" series of Astromech droids.
I've always been fascinated by robots, having played with Transformer toys
as a child, and moving on to computers as I grew up. In my teens, I was
curious about how one could get into robotics as a hobby, but didn't see
a way to get started. How does one machine parts and design circuits if one
doesn't know where to start or own any tools?
In 2007 I discovered the "r2 builders" club, devoted to building astromech
replicas based on the Star Wars films. They've had time to solve many of the
problems and work out standardized sizes and patterns for building these droids.
But why an R2? Why not create something new and different? Well, like many Star Wars
fans, R2-D2 is sort of a special case. He was an endearing character, helpful and
ever loyal, emotionally expressive despite being a metal can that could only speak in
beeps and whistles. For being a small utility robot, R2 had a lot of personality,
and yet seemed remarkably believable.
So my goal is to build an R2 droid that is a reasonable approximation of what you
see in the films. Not R2-D2, just a random R2 that you might see in a background
shot. I'm not aiming for complete authenticity, as I also want this to be
personalized to my liking... and heck, I'll probably cut corners along the way. :)
I'm tempted to put a big sign across his back that says "Deus Ex Machina"
as a stab at how much R2D2 was used as a plot device to get the protagonists out
of intractable situations. He can be a plot device on wheels. :)
Updates follow below in reverse-chronological order.
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