Out of all the characters in the Star Wars universe, R2-D2 has to be the only one that gets so much love. Custom Xbox 360s, projectors, headphones, swimsuits, smartphones — the list goes on. Motorized Lego replicas? Well, that's just a tribute of love.
Peter "Ickelpete" Salter's Lego R2-D2 is more than meets the eye. You'd be forgiven for thinking Salter's 15.7-inch wide by 23.6-inch tall creation was just a plastic statue, but it actually moves. It has a retractable leg, lights up,
makes authentic "beep-doop" sounds and has a head that rotates — just like in the movies. All it took was 18 months of hard work.
Built for the Lego space event at the National Space Centre in the U.K., Salter tells us he's not sure how many lego bricks it took to build his adorable Lego astromech (we're following up with him on that), but estimates it's around 5,000-6000 pieces.
It's not just bricks, either. Salter says that R2-D2's internal frame is made out of Lego Technic pieces to help with the droid's articulation. The bricks were then layered on top.
As for how its movement is controlled, it operates using Lego "Power Functions" IR found on some Technic sets. The neat thing is that the two LED lights on the 'bot's dome are also remote controlled.
Salter deserves a huge pat on the back on the back for this. I'm inspired, to break out the old Lego bricks and build something as grand for myself. If only it wasn't Monday again...
Oh and for those who don't know who Kenny Baker is. Well, let's just say he was the dude inside the R2-D2 unit that rocked the shell back and forth.
Video of the motorized R2-D2 can be seen here.
UPDATE: Salter got back to us and it looks like the sounds in the video don't actually come from the Lego Artoo itself, but is audio overlaid on the video. Salter does have plans to have the sounds remote-triggered in the future via a cam mounted on R2-D2's head.