Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I have taken Artoo out to various events over the past year and a half and have documented photos, most of which have made their way to social media (Check out the Buffalo Bisons on Facebook for Star Wars Night photos).  I won't have time to upload much from previous events, but going forward I'll try to update as I go. 

These are some photos from our event this past weekend.  October is fire prevention month and many of the local fire companies held open houses.  Clarence Fire Company in Clarence, NY hosted one in which the North Ridge FanForce was invited to attend.  Artoo had the freedom of rolling around the fire house truck bay.  Below are pictures of a standoff between him and the Erie County Bomb Squad robot.  That's our Porkins directing traffic and keeping both robots in line.



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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reboot

Well, it's been quite a while since I have updated this blog site.  I've done many events with Artoo since my last update including two Buffalo Bison's Star Wars Nights, both of which sold out at a capacity crowd of 18,025 each game. 

It's been almost 7 years since I started working on my droid and I'm thinking that its coming to a point for an overhaul.  I had thoughts of building another droid and giving him his own identity and storyline, but at this point in life, I just don't have room in my house for another robot with a growing family.  My oldest daughter, who at age 4 3/4 (yes, when you are that young, that 3/4 is very important...) challenged me to build my own R2 unit - she'll be turning 12 soon.

Time is moving on and for a droid that is supposed to only look beat up... well, he's taken quite the pounding over the course of 7 years.  I've kept up with maintenance including teardowns to check the seams and welds and make sure that he wasn't falling apart.  The constant loading and unloading has taken it's toll and I've noted some additional cracks, namely on the foot shells. 

All in all, I've decided to start looking over plans and replace/repair and overhaul my design.  I'm compiling a wish list of sorts as to the improvements that I hope will come down the line, including:

 - New frame.  I plan on scratch building a new polystyrene frame and gluing the skins on to add support.  Access to the electrical components will be through the top with kill switches in place under the body.
 - Improved logics.  My current front logics work, however, after working on the rear logics which are yet to be installed due to a faulty board, I think I can do much better. 
 - Periscope.  I have wanted one since the initial concept of my build.  I think it's time I actually follow through on this.
 - Moving utility arms - another plan in had in the initial design.
 - Improved front caster to get over small cracks in the sidewalk and door thresholds.

Not sure when I will start this project, but it's definitely on the horizon.  Stay tuned!