Search My Blog

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BAMF2010: Look sir, droids! - Hack a Day

BAMF2010: Look sir, droids!

posted May 27th 2010 10:00am by Phil Burgess
filed under: cons, robots hacks, roundup

Ask any engineer what originally sparked their interest in technology, and almost universally the response will be a Hollywood film or TV robot — Star Wars’ R2-D2, the B9 robot from Lost in Space, or Short Circuit’s Johnny 5, to name a few. Engineers need a creative outlet too, and some pay homage to their inspirations by building elaborate reproductions. At this year’s Maker Faire, droid-builders had their own corner in the center hall, their work ranging from humble craft materials to ’bots surpassing their film counterparts in detail and workmanship.

Probably the most beloved film robot of all time would be R2-D2, and probably the best-known reproductions originate from the R2-D2 Builders Club, who’ve been profiled in Make and Servo magazines, among others. Every kid’s dreamed of building their own R2, perhaps from a wastepaper basket and scrap, but the club’s astromech droids are anything but kid stuff, with machined aluminum domes and intricate motor and sound systems. The club doesn’t sell robots — that would infringe on trademarks — but they do share techniques and component plans. The finished droids (are they ever really finished?) put in appearances at fan conventions and charity events.

Danger Will Robinson! Career inventor [Andrew Filo] has been engineering practical everyday items for three decades, but he cuts loose by bringing his early inspirations to life. His carefully-researched reproductions include an Apollo-era NASA spacesuit and a talking, walking…er, rolling…B9 robot.

Read more see pics...


No comments: