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Podpadstudios. Star Wars R11.E1. Astromech (Zoe)

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Zoe (R11:E1)
http://podpadstudios.co.uk

All my Robots are scratch built, no kits or pre made parts. I know some R2D2 builders collect loads of resin or metal parts and then put them together into a Droid but for me the fun is in the fabrication  not simply putting a pre made jigsaw together.

This is my third Astromech build which is an R11:E1 called Zoe. 
The name Zoe came from a film called 'Caprica' where a young girl called Zoe is killed and her personality implanted into the first Cylon. It may sound strange but as the build developed it appeared to become more and more female. The name Zoe seemed perfect . 
Zoe is a bit of a high tec girl with a great deal of onboard gadgets. She has her own router and IP webcam which broadcasts as charity events. She is powered by three 25Amp 12v SLA batteries, two running the 24v drive system and the thrid running the 12v electrics. She has onboard, sound system, fire extinguisher, the utility arms and claws work, 140db siren, working Holo eyes, periscope, full smoke machine ported through exhaust, loads of LED and plasma lighting. Full LED el-wire all over, with light reactive paint. She has a full working onboard DLP projector which is setup to display the Princess Leia message from StarWars.
Other Specs include:
Dimension Engineering Sabretooth electronic speed controllers, two of them, one for the drive and one for the dome.
Radio system is a Spektrum DX8 running 8 channels. A further 24 channels are used via RF switches for LED control and onboard sound, totalling 32 channels of control.
The smoke system is very special in that it uses water to generate the mist via ultrasonic means.
Most of the LED closers are home made, just hours of soldering one LED at a time, but the effect was worth it.
The only thing she does not do is fly which would be so cool, I wish.

Zoe was built about a year ago. The initial build took about 12 months but the upgrades are added each week, this is more of an obsession than a robot build that never ends.
I am always adding new gadgets, LED's or new ideas to make the Droid as good as i can get it. 
Zoe is based on the Plans of the R2D2 and as such is a full size replica of an Astromech although an R11 was never made, it only went up to R9. Even though she is based on the R2D2 plans she is unique in that so much more has been added and a great deal of Artistic licence used. I wanted to create a cut away design so I could show of all the internal workings and allow the LED lighting to have real effect. I was after creating a real working robot look with all the internal circuits flashing and looking as though they were a functioning  entity. Zoe took about a year to create but as I have already mentioned the upgrades seem never ending and she is still having things added even as I type this (new onboard telemetry to the DX8 radio). 
One of the main things I like about Zoe is that she is totally unique  in her design. The skin less final design worked much better than I expected although it was a real challenge to make sure that all the parts that are on show, which is most of them, looked the part. Many of the visible circuit boards are fake, they are simply old computer mother boards cut up, the main electronics are hidden away on the electronics board in the centre of the Droid. The electronics board is modular and easy removable so I can work on things easily, I learnt this the hard way from previous builds, upgrades are always necessary and having complete access to the electronics is very important.  
Recently added was a new charging system for Zoe and her sister Emy which was built to look like a remote Droid power station. I also added into this the ability to solar charge both the Droids when I am out and about on public events. What I would love to do is somehow build in the solar panels to the Droids, maybe in the future.




Robot-tech3 months ago
After seeing your creations I'm inspired to try and build a larger robot. You're projects are excellent!
Right now, I'm modifying an old toy called an OMNI2000 robot with an electronics board from EZ-robot.com.
rcfreak21 year ago
how much did building one of these cost?
podpadstudios (author)  rcfreak21 year ago
I hate to think. I can't publish the final cost, my wife might be viewing!
do you think a 16 yr old in welding can do this?
podpadstudios (author)  rcfreak21 year ago
Yes, I don't see why not. Sign up to and download the R2D2 plans from here,
http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/r2builders/
From there onwards it is up to you what you want to make your R2 out of and how much it will cost. Something static will cost much less than a full RC machine. On a full Metal RC machine with all the gadgets could cost you as much as £10,000, not sure what that is in Dollars, or as little as £20 if it was made out of cardboard.
hai i sign up but i cant find the prints. can you help me
nnygamer1 year ago
Check out this guys page: http://www.robothut.robotnut.com/index.html he also has how he did the 3 drones from Silent Running
podpadstudios (author)  nnygamer1 year ago
I've followed his work for many years
http://cyberneticzoo.com/?m=201208 has some cool behind the scenes and close ups of the arms from the Silent Running drones
meanpc1 year ago
This is a beautiful robot. I like how the top can spin completely around - were you able to achieve this by using contacts moving on a circular track?
podpadstudios (author)  meanpc1 year ago
I use these, http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12-5mm-12-2A-12-Wires-2-amps-12-Conductors-Capsule-Tiny-Slip-Ring-220V-AC-250Rpm-/290735141109?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item43b12a30f5
On this droid I used a 24v circuit unit.
temper1 year ago
A very impressive build - well done. Any plans for building a "Silent Running" drone in the future?
podpadstudios (author)  temper1 year ago
I have always wanted to make the three Droids from Silent running, simply awesome film. Once I have completed my T3-M4 Droid my next build might be the three Droids from silent running. The real trick with a build like that though would be getting them to walk authentically.
Yes, I admit that is what has stopped me - most builds by others so far have been static models - I think the first animated models will be a quantum leap (I know that's a very small amount - but not if you are the size of an electron ;-)) in robot building.
podpadstudios (author)  temper1 year ago
Yes, all three. What has stopped me building them up to know is that I would need to work out the walking system as running them on wheels would look silly. Linear actuators would be the best way to go but they would need to serious AI control.
Once I have completed my T3-M4 they will be high up on the next project list.
xenor1 year ago
That is without a doubt the nicest droid build I've ever seen. Fantastic work!!
gosphero1 year ago
Glowing robot... Totally sweet!
wow!
sparten111 year ago
if you need AI for this i can help you with that. i can get you one of my control boards that takes standard rc pwm signals from your pc or onboard pc to control any of your pwm motors or switches. let me know

beautiful build I love it I am now gonna build one my own droids. I think mine will actually do chores. like cut grass rake the leaves. plow snow and provide home security etc. awesome.

gonna start tonight.
podpadstudios (author)  sparten111 year ago
I might get back to you on this. I am leaning with the Arduino at the moment, there seems to be so much I can do with this.
Dear Santa......
echoomni1 year ago
SUPER COOL!
alinke1 year ago
fantastic work!
poofrabbit1 year ago
This looks wicked nice job!
Spideycato1 year ago
Is she RC or AI? This is a really cool instructable. Thank you!
podpadstudios (author)  Spideycato1 year ago
Spideycato: she is both. The drive, dome, utility arms, claws, are all RC. AI, or sensor controlled things at the moment are, the dome will turn towards your face when you look in the radar eye. I am currently playing around with an Arduino and Pololu Maestro servo board the same as I used in my Dalek Caan build. The LED's are both sound and touch reactive, touch sensors are placed at different points on the body and dome. The Holo projectors move via a very simple script and trigger the projector when a red light is shone on a light sensor in the front of the vents. Plasma plate is sound reactive as is all the EL wire. As my skills develop with the Arduino I will add more real AI features.
fretted1 year ago
Outstanding well done one of my fav characters
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