Building Up to Maker Faire, Shawn Thorsson Brings ED-209 to Life: The Grand Reveal

Robotics Technology
Building Up to Maker Faire, Shawn Thorsson Brings ED-209 to Life: The Grand Reveal
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With the timer at zero, Shawn Thorsson arrived to the Bay Area Maker Faire last weekend with the parts of his ED-209 robot replica, assembling it before the show began for all the attendees to enjoy.

Over the past two and a half months, the master prop maker has been sprinting towards Maker Faire with an incredible goal: build, from scratch, a life-size version of the ultimate robotic bad guy from the ultimate robotic movie, 1987’s timeless masterpiece Robocop. Through the build, he’s been checking in with Make: readers to update his progress and give points of wisdom on the techniques used.

Was he successful in creating this incredible build in time for the show? The answer is a resounding YES. Intricately crafted, painted, weathered, and even (on Sunday) motorized, the build looked ready to tell people they had 30 seconds to comply. And with its built-in speakers, it actually did say that, along with a batch of comical non-Robocop quotes that kept the spectators entertained.

One of Thorsson’s team members puts the final touches on ED-209 at their booth in Maker Faire. Photo: Shawn Thorsson

Those who want to build an ED-209 of their own should watch the entire series for all the fine points of recreating an oversized robot:

Determining scale
Using body filler
Casting with fiberglass
Molding details
Assembly and painting

We applaud Shawn for an incredible job, and look forward to what he’ll build next.

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Mike Senese

Mike Senese is a content producer with a focus on technology, science, and engineering. He served as Executive Editor of Make: magazine for nearly a decade, and previously was a senior editor at Wired. Mike has also starred in engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, fixing cars, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza. You might spot him at his local skatepark in the SF Bay Area.

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