It was at Walmart that I first saw the R2D2 shown in Figure 1, standing in one of the toy isles at the store. From a
distance, it looked like a nice and
sturdy replica of the original R2D2.
Picking up the box and looking closer
at it, I discovered there was no
remote control or motors. Also
missing were the wheels on its base
to make it move around. Instead, it
was just a hollow plastic toy where
the head turns and the legs can be
positioned to various angles.
Okay ... where are the famous
animatronics that Disney is known
for? Where do I insert the batteries?
Where’s the beef? Mulling it over, I
was about to put it back, but thought
to myself that maybe I could modify
this R2D2 using some VEX robotic
components. The price was tempting
me, so I got it on “sale” for around
$50 and took it home.
R2D2 sat around my room for a
month or so watching me
expectantly, just like Pinocchio looked
at Geppetto wondering when he
could start moving around on his
own. So, feeling a little bit guilty, I
began looking through all my VEX
parts for the necessary components
needed to animate my R2D2. While I
could have used small gear boxes
recycled from some broken toys, and
the RC transmitter and receiver and
electronics needed to animate R2D2, I
stuck with VEX components to make
it easier to put together and later
program. The disadvantage to using
the VEX parts was their relative size
as compared to the actual toy robot.
Since the R2D2 stands at 1’ 6” and its
diameter is 8” (or about the size of a
small trash can), this means that space
By Daniel Ramirez
Figure 1. It was at Walmart that I first saw
this R2D2 standing in one of the toy aisles
at the store.
It wasn't so long ago that the latest Star Wars movie released by Disney and
again directed by George Lucas came out, with most of the original cast of
actors and robots, including R2D2. The original Star Wars trilogy has always
been one of my favorite sci-fi movies. Since the movie's 2016 release, there
has been a landslide of merchandising derived from the movie actors and
Use VEX Parts to
Modify an R2D2
SERVO 10.2016 35
Use the force, Luke ...
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