The time has come to take the covers off the utility arm mystery project. All of this is to get R2 to wave the American flag!
My R2 will be riding on a Star Wars float for the the city of La Verne, CA's 4th of July parade, and I wanted him to do more than just turn his head and make beeping noises, so I figured it would be nice if he could automatically wave a flag. Here's some video:
To summarize, I cut out and glued together a styrene cover for the end of the top utility arm, and I glued a segment of a plastic drinking straw to the back of the arm. The segment of straw has a styrene "floor" as well. I painted that all blue. I then whipped up a quick program on the Arduino Uno to cycle the arm at two different slow speeds.
I plan to use the same museum putty that I use to hold the red R5-D4 panels on the droid, as it sticks very well. I'll use the putty to secure the styrene glove, and to secure the flag in the straw. I'll be sure to post pics from the parade.