R2D2 powered by a Raspberry Pi (via Greensheller)
There are Star Wars fans and then there are exceptional Star Wars fans that can use their talents to bring things from a ‘galaxy far, far away’ closer to home. One such fan based in China (known as ‘greensheller’) decided to build an R2 unit for his girlfriend as a birthday gift out of a broken interactive toy and some inexpensive parts he found online. The end-result turned out to be (considered by some) an incredible, functional representation of the on-screen droid featured in six movies. To build his R2 unit, greensheller used the shell of a broken R2 toy and outfitted it with a Raspberry Pi single-board computer running the Rasbian OS. While there’s little information on exactly how he constructed the droid, it features bilingual voice control (Chinese and English provided by PocketSphinx), face recognition (developed using OpenCV), motion detection, ultra-sonic distance detection for obstacle detection (sonar?), audio/message recording, sound play/TTS (for realistic R2 sound-effects), runs on a rechargeable battery and uses a Wi-Fi connection. Greensheller states that there’s been overwhelming requests from fans around the globe wanting detailed information as to exactly how he built the droid and what parts were used but states that he’s in the process of getting married (she must have liked the birthday gift). However, he does say that hopefully he’ll find some time in early February to release an updated video of his R2 project with a detailed tutorial on how it was constructed. Maybe it will include a ‘holo-recorder/playback’ upgrade for the next version in the works.