Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mystery Shoot with R2 & Droidmobile

Today R2 and I headed up in the Droidmobile to the West Los Angeles area for a mystery video shoot.

This shoot wasn't all about R2 though, as I ended up on camera quite a bit more than usual. R2 was probably jealous, and I'm sure he'll take it out on me sooner or later. The Droidmobile also got a fair amount of camera time, but R2 won't be mad at his only form of transportation.

I should have more to share about this one sometime in the Fall.

Friday, July 04, 2014

City of La Verne's 2014 4th of July Parade

Today my droid participated in the city of La Verne, CA's 4th of July Parade. I got to use the flag waving feature that I added to R2 these past several days.

Manuel Cruz brought a pickup truck and trailer so that we could haul droids, Jawas, Tuskens and whatever other denizens needed a ride. I backed the Element up for an easy transfer, at the tender hour of 7:22am, as some 70(!) characters got into costume.

We lined up behind a cool, old-time fire truck, which hosted bottled water and more characters.

The troopers took one last breath before their march.

Around 10:00am the parade started, and we were under way. Vader and the Stormtroopers lead the Star Wars group, followed by the firetruck, then us, then the Tuskens and Rebels. I was riding in the passenger seat of the pickup, so I could only take pictures in our immediate vicinity. I'd never been in a parade before outside of being cramped in the back of a Humvee, so I didn't know whether to wave or not. I did end up waving a little bit, but I mainly left the waving to R2 and his flag.

I was told last year there were 10,000 people along the 2.5 mile route, and that this year far surpassed that. I must have heard, "It's R2-D2!" hundreds of times.

A video clip amongst the pics.

And finally, video at the finish line.

The full photoset is here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Utility Arm Mystery Project Revealed - Patriotic Droid

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.