Fun & Games Robotics
R2-D2 builders at WonderCon
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Our pal Bonnie Burton, from The Official Star Wars Blog, caught up with some of the members of Astromech, the R2-D2 builders club, at WonderCon, and asked them a few questions about the ins and outs of droid construction.

Can you describe what the R2-D2 Builders group is all about
We’re a loosely organized international group of fans who love to build droids and share them with the world. Founded in 1999, the club has continually striven to develop resources to allow others to accurately reproduce their own astromech droids. We know have almost 8,000 members, but I would say there’s closer to 500 active builders at any one time. We make all sort of astromechs, not just R2-D2, but that’s were our roots are. Some of you may have also seen R2-KT (R2KT.com); she was build by members of the club.

What tips did you give would-be builders at your WonderCon panel?
The four top tips are always — planning, patients, do lots of research, and know your limitations. Without following these basic tips you can quickly make some expensive mistakes. Oh! And the fifth tip — Don’t try stuffing the electronics from a Hasbro Interactive Droid in a life-size Artoo. You don’t want a 200 lb droid running you over.


WonderCon 2009: R2-D2 Builders

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Building clubs for your favorite movie and TV robots

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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