Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Preschool Visit with Matt Senreich

This morning, R2 and I joined Michael McMaster and Mike Senna (along with their WALL•Es) and Robot Chicken co-creator Matt Senreich to do a show-and-tell for Matt's child's preschool class.

We had four mini-sessions with the different classes. The kids were very well behaved and had lots of questions. We told them what our robots were made out of, how long they took to build, and we demonstrated what they could do.

We also let the kids play sounds and such.

In between sessions, we chatted with Matt about robots and Robot Chickens.

The kids took group pictures with the droids, as did the teachers.

And we took some pictures with Matt.

Matt said, "Let's all make funny faces in this one." So we proceeded to, while he pointed to us like we were crazy. Funny stuff.

But he got his comeuppance.

We had a really good time, and it's always fun to do an event with Mike and Michael.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

CHLA 2013 Charity Event

Today R2 joined members of the 501st and Rebel Legion for Children's Hospital Los Angeles "Hope-a-palooza" event with the theme "Larger than Life," in support of children being treated for cancer and blood disease, at CBS Studios in Studio City, CA.

Mike Senna and WALL•E, along with Mike's family were also there. The droids and their builders got the red carpet treatment.

Our setup was near Studio 4, a nice shady spot with a huge space-themed backdrop, and plenty of room for Al Eisenmann's amazing landspeeder, and Shawn Crosby's impressive Z-wing. It looks like Entertainment Tonight must be produced nearby.

At noon the event opened to the guests, and we got busy. Lots o' pics.

Toward the end of the event, the Star Wars characters were asked to come up to the stage as the main speaker said a few words to the audience, which was seated quite a way back from the stage.

The event wrapped up at 4:00pm, and R2 and I were back on our way home shortly thereafter. Yet another nice event for a worthy cause.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Awards Event for Baby Leah Fundraiser

Many Star Wars fans know of the health challenges facing little Leah Esquenazi ("Princess Leah"). Christina Amato helped to organize a fundraising event with her UC Irvine sorority, Phi Sigma Rho. Their 24-hour fundraiser was able to raise over $500 toward Leah's medical bills. R2 joined members of the 501st, Rebel Legion and Mandalorian Mercs to help celebrate as fundraising awards were handed out.

UCI happens to be my college alma mater, and is only 5 minutes from where I work, so it was easy to bring R2 to the 6:00pm event. I never thought in my four years as a student there that I would one day return with my own R2-D2. We posed outside Steinhaus Hall for pictures with whoever happened by at that somewhat late point in the campus day.

Shortly thereafter, we went into the room the sorority reserved for the awards. Leah's parents Fran and Zev were able to make the drive down from the Los Angeles area to attend, along with their new doggie Roxy.

Personally, I wouldn't try cheating off of a biker scout.

It was a fun little celebration for a very worthy cause.

The full photoset is here.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Finished Wiring and Assembling Periscope

Tonight I was able to wrap up work on the periscope.

I installed the main gasket into the periscope housing, attempting to route the wires into their channels in the gasket as best I could. I used tweezers for most of this job, as we are advised not to use our "hot dog fingers."

Next, I clipped and soldered the rear LEDs.

I figured it would be wise to test the rear LEDs before sliding them back into their gaskets, and fortunately they worked perfectly.

In they go, still looking good.

And with that, periscope assembly is done. It really is a thing of beauty, great job Michael and Doug!

If you thought the assembly went slowly, wait until you see how long I take to get it installed in the dome.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Threaded Rear LED Periscope Wires, Trimmed and Installed Side Periscope Wedges

Tonight I had a little time to return to work on the periscope. The first order of business is to thread the wires for the three red LEDs that go on the back of the periscope through their gaskets. I finally got a chance to use the tweezer set I purchased recently for this job.

After a few minutes I had the six wires threaded.

Next, the instructions suggest that portions of the side diffusion wedges get trimmed.


And with a little fussing, in they go.

The lenses are somewhat frosted, but the side wedges have these nice diffusion circles on them.

Let's see how things look.

It's tough to see, but the diffusion wedges could use a little nudge toward the front of the periscope, in order for them to be perfectly centered. Thus, I'll need to trim just a bit more material on each of them so they may slide forward. And while I'm at it, it looks like solder joint for the most significant bit (the white wire) on the main board that selects the operating mode needs a touch up, as that signal is acting flaky. I'll deal with that soon.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Star Wars Art Tribute

Tonight R2 helped kick off the Star Wars Art Tribute being held at the Nucleus Gallery, in Alhambra, CA.

R2 greeted the guests, some in costume, and posed for pictures with visitors.

The art pieces were quite nice.

Everyone had a good time, and the exhibit got off to a good start.

The full photoset is here.