Inside Out

Most people start by building their droid, then doing the electronics. I’m pretty much doing it all in reverse.

Here you can see all the electronics for R2. The left hand board has all the main power, and the right hand board is the actual electronics. Both boards have edging around them, and will happily sit back to back, making the whole system easily removable. It also means that once removed, it can be opened up as shown to be worked on.

Wiring is nearly complete for the core parts (Pi, Odrive, and Amp), I just need to get an XT60 soldered on to accept a battery. Now, I know I’ve a load of XT60 connectors somewhere in my office, but so far they have eluded me. They must be somewhere *really* safe!

Also, at the top of the pictures you can see the stripped down Q85 motors, getting modified to freeze the clutch system.

Next step it to get power to the Pi at least so that I can start installing the brain. It will also be an opportunity to get the documentation improved, and initial config sorted, incase anyone else wants to use my code.

Oh, and I think I’ve decided on a name for my droid.

R0-S3, or Rose to her friends!

One droid is never enough

The time has come….

R2 needs a friend.

I’ve actually started collecting bits to make my next droid. I’ll be picking up the bulk of the droid in a couple of weeks at R2UK. I’ve already got the motors, speed controller, Pi, and a few other little bits. Most of the other electronics are on order too.

Not 100% certain on what type of dome the droid will have, nor the colour scheme that I’ll use. That can all come later.

What I do know:

  • Brushless Q85 motors (e-bike hub motors).
  • ODrive controller for the motors (a lot cheaper than the Roboteq most people use).
  • Will use r2_control (of course), but be able to swap out to standard RC quickly.
  • Same battery as R2, so I’ll have two identical ones.
  • All electronics will be on a removable board so that I can pull them out to work on outside of the droid.
  • Dome will be wireless with its own (small) battery.
  • Cheaper than R2 (much cheaper!)

I’ll probably also use steel feet to keep the center of gravity nice and low for stability.

So, it will mean a fair bit to do. I’ve never really worked with styrene before and with using both wireless comms for the dome and an ODrive there will be a fair amount of coding work to do on r2_control.

I’m going to try and keep a better build log for this one, with more work in progress pictures.

BB8 build

Not happy with just having an R2D2, I’ve decided to also build a BB8. 🙂

The BB8 Builders Club is an offshoot of the R2 Builders Club, with many of the same members, and have kindly produced a brilliant set of 3d printer files to allow anyone to print out their own BB8.

Of course, for this I needed a 3d printer (or rather, another one). I’ve had a few printers up to this point with the last one being bought just over a year ago from ebay. However, none of them had really been any good and took way too much fiddling with to get even half decent prints out of. In November 2017 I took the plunge and preordered a Prusa i3 Mk3. This arrived at the start of Feb, and with a slight build issue that Prusa sorted out quite rapidly, I was ready to start printing.

As a side note, I can’t recommend the Prusa enough. Its a high quality printer, designed by one of the main members of the reprap project, and copied by just about every other cheap chinese printer out there. The official one is leagues ahead of any other sub £1000 printer, with auto bed levelling, brown out detection, no endstops needed, and a great support infrastructure.

So with the printer working, I started printing out the first BB8 parts. Currently, the plan is to get the dome finished before I even start thinking about the main sphere and if I’m going to make him radio controlled. The printer was running nearly constantly for a week, and I managed to get all the main parts of the dome printed without any major hassle or wasted filament.

The printing is, however, the easy part. Next comes a lot of sanding, gluing, filling, sanding, painting, a bit more sanding, and finally the last bit of paint. There will also be a bit of electronics to go in the dome, tho I will be trying to keep that to a minimum so that it doesn’t weigh too much.

Just waiting for some warmer weather so I can work in the garage and continue on with this build. The build gallery can be found here: