STEAMPUNK R2D2 Starwars Astromech




About: Dan Aetherman, Steampunker, Inventor and Adventurer - Creator of fantastic victorian machines, gadgets and movieprops - Visit me on and on Facebook:

My dear followers, dear Steampunkers and makers around the globe

Since my childhood, and that’s quiet long ago, I love the small Astromech R2-D2 from the STARWARS movies. I think there are not many robots which are so popular like this cute little droid, and all the small and “big” children love R2-D2. Now I’m an old Steampunker and I still dreamed about this cure robot. In the past I often had the plan to build my own one, but I never did it! My cute three children changed that now! They asked me to build a STEAMPUNK R2-D2… and that’s what I did now!

My STEAMPUNK R2-D2 is fully functional and can be controlled with any WIFI device like a smartphone or a tablet computer. And for the special effect there is a built in soundmodule which plays sounds from a past future… steam pipes, phone bells, old songs, and so on…

With this Instructable I want to give you some ideas to build your own Astromech. No matter if it’s fully functional or just for decoration – R2-D2 is always an eye catcher!

Step 1: The Wooden Body

I started to make the wooden barrel for the body. First I planned to use a real barrel, but I didn't find one in the perfect size. So I had to build one from scrap wood.

To work in the right scale I used a small model from the astromech, which my children got some time ago from MAC DONALDS.

First I cutted out two round plates and sewed in openings, so that I could use the inside of the barrel for the battery or other components.

Then I cutted 32 pieces of wooden strips. After I arranged them on my workplace I fixed them together with tape, like a roller blind.

In a next step I glued the whole thing together.

To give the body an antique look I rolled it an a stone road - the easiest way to get all the cracks and scratchs in the wood...

Step 2: The Brass Dome

For the brass dome I searched more than half a year. Finally I found a confectionery bowle at a flea market for a few bucks.

The openings I cutted out with my small DREMEL and closed some of them with a fine brass mesh. After adding some details I mounted a small speaker for the sound module, which I planned to install later...

Step 3: The Legs With the Electric Drives

I had two nice electic drives from a broken robot vacuum cleaner. I mounted them in two chinese brass tea cups.

The main legs are made from simple copper tube. The side parts which are looking like some hydraulic brass cylinders are parts from an antique insecticide sprayer.

The bigger copper shoulders are cutted pieces from a watering can.

The third leg contains only a simple turning wheel without any mechanic.

After I finished the legs it was time to check the robot for the first time in an upright position!!

Step 4: The RC Components

To control the engines and the small MP3 sound module I used some RC components from HOBBYKING

Because I planned to control the Astromech with my smart phone I used the WIFI receiver from HOBBYKING.

This device works with IOS and with ANRDOID and has 4 channels.

For the legs I used two simple speed controlers, like you use in RC cars. For the sound module a simple electronic switch.

Step 5: The Finish

STEAMPUNK machines life from the details. so I spent a lot of time to add old parts from sewing machines, from old radios and so on. There are so many ideas and components to work with. Use your creativity, because your creation will look really awesome and unique with clever added small details.

As I told you in the beginning: This INSTRUCTABLE is not a guide to build an exact copy of my STEAMPUNK R2D2. I hope I could give you new ideas how to build your own one. STEAMPUNK means "unique" - so be creative, search some fitting components and start your journey!!!

Check out the video too!

Happy Building!!!!!

Sincerely yours

Dan Aetherman aka The Chocolatist

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    18 Discussions


    2 years ago

    f***ing awsome just like this guy and his eyeball

    The Juliart

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Love ,love,Lo-------ve it !!! What a gorgeous piece of work. Thank you for making a great Instructable. Love chocolate to. J


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Gorgeous work of art --and I'm not even a Star Wars fan! Thanks for a unique and beautifully executed project.

    1 reply

    3 years ago on Step 5

    Copper, brass, wood, and glass. Materials that compliment each other wonderfully. What a beautiful construction you've created here! I especially enjoy how you displayed the tops of vacuum tubes to make them look more like glass globes or lenses. How did you prepare the brass head to look weathered? It looks great! Outstanding work Dan.

    1 reply

    Thank you so much!! Makes me happy when you like this little Astromech! I use mainly old and antique stuff to create my work. The old brass bowle had a nice patina as I got it. After cutting out the small windows I brushed the brass slightly with a brass brush, not too much, so that some layer of the original patina stayed on the surface...


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, there is an app to download for the receiver on the Hobbyking website...bottom of the product page... I changed the skin, so that it fits better to the STEAMPUNK theme...


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks a lot for your vote! And thanks for your positive feedback to this creation. It's one of my favourite pieces I created so far...