I don’t mean to throw so much Star Wars stuff at you here lately, but I’ve run across another cool SW related website.
These guys actually build their own R2 units… that’s right, they make brothers and sisters for R2-D2! You can’t buy completed droids from them, but they’re a club for people who want to build their own astromech droids (which is what R2-D2 was). The website has links for actual blueprints and tutorials on getting started. Some people make static droids just for decoration; others actually put in robotics that allow the units to roll around, make noises, light up, etc. By the way, these are all radio-controlled, I believe. I don’t think anyone’s actually built one that functions on its own yet. Although, with Lego’s Mindstorm line of products, creating an independently functional R2 unit is definitely in the realm of possibilities.
For any of you guys with mechanical prowess (Matt), technical prowess (Wes), or a few extra bucks lying around (probably none of us), this might be a cool hobby. Be prepared to kiss your sex life goodbye, though. I’d imagine it’s hard to attract the lady-folk when you spend your free time playing with a robot. In that case, you might want to spend some time trying to create some fembots.