Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Another shot ... This picture provides a view of the area that I have been using to build. Its my Dinning room.

So what is left:
Dome electronics
Battery Boxes
Hoses & Knurled fittings
minor Tweaks to back door
Center Ankle
Paint Cylinders and Wedges

Its been raining for a few days so no Painting. I don't have feet, or skirt... and so moving on to 300mm Dome.

I marked the inside of the panels and dome, then used a hacksaw blade to remove the panels. I got about half of the tabs filed down, and need to scrape the slag off still.

All the panels cut out. Need to file the tabs and scrape the slag.

This dome shouldn't take too long to get it looking right. Just need to spend a few more days cleaning up the parts, and hope to get some painting done within the next week. After that, cut a few holes and assemble.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I didn't want to be one of those people that stopped posting regularly when I started getting close to the end.. but finding time to post, or work on my droid has been difficult.

So, this past week I spent plenty of time working on the Ankles and legs. This is the results. Some things are not perfect, and others are pretty darn close.

Tom's cylinders and wedges came in today. These are just dry fit in place. I will paint them when it stops raining.

I managed to get the back door mounted. It is not right. I will spend some more time on this after I finish the other leg.

Shoulder to leg hub. I am using the A&A leg kit so I had to skin the shoulder hub with some aluminum. I found a sheet metal pipe at the hardware store... and after a few hours of cutting/test fitting, I came up with these. It will work till my ALU hubs come in.

Got a little over a month left to go for Dragon Con. I hope to get a skirt and feet shells before then, but am considering alternatives at the moment.

Things completed:
mounted rear door
mount under shoulder details
designed shoulder hub cover
attached shoulder hub cover
assembled leg

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Magnum or William Shatner

My r3t2 decided to strike a pose. Not sure if this is his magnum face, or his impersonation of William Shatner. Its hard to tell.

Stuff done:
mounted front coin return
mounted second side vent
mounted side plates
mounted second octagon port
mounted skins
painted power coupler
partially mounted power coupler
adjusted dome ring and Rockler bearing to fix alignment issues

Some ALU frames are now available. I want one, but they are fairly expensive, and switching out frames is not a simple overnight job. At this point if I purchased the frame, I would be setting myself up to build a second droid.
In other words, I have not decided if I want to purchase the frame.

This next statement is not meant to offend the r2builders. Building an R2D2 is not only about owning a custom build robot that shares the likeness of a childhood hero of mine... for me it has been a learning experience, a bridge to mechanical engineering, and a chance for me to use some of my artistic skills which have been neglected for several years.

It has never been my intention to just build an R2D2. I hope to build/modify/invent new things with the skills and knowledge I have gained.

not sure where all that came from... I'm not even close to being done with this project so I better stay focused... back to building!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Octagons, Doors, and Vents... Oh my!

Got a few things done.
mounted coin slots
mounted 2 of 3 coin returns
mounted center vents
designed Side vent attachment scheme
mounted side vents
cut out Side panels
mounted Side panels
mounted 1 of 2 octagon ports
put body filer on legs/ankles
some sanding done

Not all items listed above are pictured.

Rear Octagon Port installed. I also got both of the rear side doors installed. I used a method which I will describe later in this post.

This picture is from inside. I just decided to drill through the entire octagon port and use some longer screws to mount. I had been trying to figure out what size screws to use, and ended up just using 8/32 after a fair amount of drilling.

Side vent mounted. Some people are probably looking at this and saying... um... why is only half the skin mounted?. And how is it staying on?

Here is the first part of the answer to the mounting question. I am using a cabinet door magnet. I used a few nylon spacers to get it positioned correctly... and oh don't you like my zip ties holding my battery in place =D

This is the back of the vent. I know it looks messy but nobody should see this. The plate that attaches to the magnet is on the left and on the right I used some scrap from the skins to add a lip to the bottom inside of the vent.

I then used some styrene to fill the gap so that it was a nice tight fit. You can see the styrene sticking out on the left.

OK... got to get the other side vent fixed up and the other octagon. I hope to get those done tomorrow.
Running out of time. Setting a goal of 6 weeks. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

electrical work & Task List

No pictures today. I have reached a stopping point on the electronics in the body of R2. His charging system, is completed.

I also got the dome drive wired, and speakers connected.

Things I need to finish up the body:
mount coin slots
complete the construction of Coin returns
mount coin returns
paint Power couplers
mount power couplers
drill holes in Center vents
mount center vents
design Side vent attachment scheme
mount side vents
cut out Side panels
mount Side panels
mount octagon ports
get Skirt (on order at the moment)
do all work regarding skirt and mount

Leg work needed:
put body filer on legs/ankles
prime and paint
mount under shoulder details
mount ankle details
mount cylinder holders
mount cylinder with wedges (on order)
glue parts for shoulder hub
Assemble leg and attach to body

Feet work needed:
get feet.. and do all the work needed (on order)
get battery boxes.. and do all the work needed (on order)
get knurled fittings and hoses.. and do all the work needed (on order)
paint resin battery harnesses and mount
assemble motor mount and attach to foot.

Aspects dome work needed:
fix pic flashers
swap out leds on psi flasher
mount psi housing and electronics
mount pic flashers
re-drill holes to align dome ring with rocklear bearing
put felt pads in holo projectors

300mm dome work needed:

That's the short list of things I want to get done asap. I need this droid project to be completed within the next 6 weeks or he will be missing parts at DragonCon.

I doubt that I will get much of the 300mm dome work done, but if some of the parts I need are not available, then there will be time.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Two Legs! -- steps back and forward

This past week, I tried to stay busy but was still a bit distracted. You will notice a few new links in the "Other" category. I have started looking at the possibility of converting a car from gas to electric. Research has begun.

OK, 2 Legs this time. This was actually around last Tuesday night, but it didn't last long. I had planned to build the ankles separate but the more I worked with them, the less confident I was in being able to attach everything securely. Will get into more of this later...

Acetone bath for my power couplers. If you followed the message boards this week you will see a nice thread about painting power couplers. Anyway, these are almost back to the start. Some of the primer is still on and I will need to sand them just a touch before starting to repaint.

Stepping back. After making decisions about the ankle, I jammed it all together with a ton of screws... glued on the styrene pieces.. and then picked super glue off my fingers for a few hours.

As I was saying earlier, I just didn't trust the strength of the ankle as a completely separate component. I also had to deal with Keith's resin "beefy part." I didn't want that thing flying off... so its held in place by 4 screws. 6 Bolts, and 6 screws hold the ankle parts to the leg. This had better work.

Not sure if I mentioned my distaste for Bondo. I was never able to get consistency that I liked, which would last more than about a minute. So after some research, I found this stuff. Its pretty much the same stuff, but its already pre-mixed and in a squeeze tube! I'll use this to fill the gaps in the ankle and a few other places on the legs.
...and on another note, because I made the ankle decision after I painted my legs white, I will be doing a fair amount of sanding. The entire legs will probably get a fresh coat of paint.

I have JAG's outer feet on order so I picked up a few of Darryl's mounts. These are drive wheel only mounts, so no stem casters. 3 legged only motor mounts.

Last, I did some more electrical work.
Its getting a bit messy, but on the right side you can see my battery chargers are mounted. These chargers are plugged into the power strip, and connected the batteries. I held off on these for a long time, because I was concerned about space issues.

more soon!