Sunday, April 5, 2015

Attempting to build a Lightsaber Launcher

Working on a Lightsaber Launcher for his dome.  Man this takes up a TON of room!  I plan to stretch the lever arm a couple mm because the servo is rubbing, but this would probably work if I needed it to.
Lightsaber Launcher for Lego Artoo, Mark I Overview
The main mechanism is an inner chamber that latches onto the knob on the bottom of the .707 scale stunt Lightsaber.  This shows the clamp in it's latched position.  The spring would be compressed.

Closed Position Lightsaber Launcher Clamp
And here's a picture with the saber loaded.

Loaded Lightsaber Launcher
To launch, the inner chamber slides over to release the item.  The lever arm in the 1st picture redirects the vertical motion of the servo to horizontal.

Open clamp position
The mount bolts to the aluminum T-slot in L3-G0's frame, but I'm going to tweak it a bit before installing it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Some bits of L3-G0's Innards

I was poking around looking for some of my pictures to show off and couldn't find them, so I've uploaded them to an album on Flickr... 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

R2-D2 in Star Trek Redshirt Costume

Well, L3-G0 decided to crash a Star Trek convention.  And, of course if you're gonna mix canons like that, your gonna need a costume:

Lego R2-D2 wearing Star Trek Redshirt
Lego R2-D2 wearing Star Trek Redshirt
Our daughter has been collecting signatures, so we wanted to see some of the stars, and Lara thought it would be a good idea to bring L3-G0.  I wasn't so sure, but she had the idea for the red shirt.  Of course we put off actually making the costume 'til the last minute.  Anyway it turned out pretty fun.

Artoo wasn't the only cosplayer there:

R2-D2 with Star Trek Cosplay Cosplayers
R2-D2 with Star Trek Cosplay
Of course, there were scarier things than Klingons:

Borg Cosplay with Lego R2D2 in Red Shirt
Borg with Artoo Red Shirt
Artoo did get to meet some of the Star Trek talent.  Some of them left early and missed him, but Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Denise Crosby and John De Lancie all got a chance to say hi to him.  They also had some talks that were pretty enjoyable with funny anecdotes, their an entertaining crowd.  (I guess that's their job.)

Marina was really funny.  She saw R2 in his red shirt and whipped out her phone... a Blackberry... asking if she could tweet a picture.  There was lots of tapping and phone wrangling, but finally she held it out to take a picture... Whoops, another one... And another.  Finally she apparently has a picture and taps a bunch more (all the while insisting she loves her Blackberry).  Viola, she announces that she's done it and posted the pix to twitter.

Curious about this 5 minute picture taking of course I check twitter when we move on:
Hilarious, all that and no photo :)

Later in the day the talent had no visitors, so we went back and let her know about the faux pas.  It didn't take as long this time:
I know she likes that phone, but maybe she wants one with a better camera, just sayin'.  Anyway, thanks a ton to Marina for providing us with such a fun story and memories.

Another hilarious bit was when the talent first arrived.  Apparently they had been told to bring photos, but Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes apparently hadn't been listening.  Marina was like "men".  Brent was griping and grouching, digging around his bag and pulled out the only shot he could find, all bent and torn, turning around and asking the fans if they'd buy that.  (Someone did scrounge up some stills for them eventually.)

In short, we had as much fun as Lara predicted, and he was better received than I expected, considering that we had the wrong genre.  I guess we're all just geeks. 

L3-G0 (in costume) saying hi to famous people
L3-G0 (in costume) saying hi to famous people

Friday, October 10, 2014

Brickcon 2014

Back to Brickcon!

This time L3-G0 brought a friend, MCK-Y, the Lego Mouse Droid.  We spent so much time running around the hall interacting with the kids and folks that we don't have a lot of photos, but here're some decent ones.
L3-G0 and MCK-Y, the Lego R2-D2 astromech and MSE-6 mouse droids.
Above you can see that MCK-Y has some glowing undercarriage LEDs that provide a nice effect, if not canon.  MCK-Y has his own set of bleeps and noises, we'll try to post some video later.  MSE-6 Mouse Droids also go by the name "Baby Box Droid."  Here's a close up of MCK-Y.
MCK-Y the Lego MSE-6 Mouse Droid

We Win!

I know we win because I have a picture of the trophy to prove it :)  We one the "Sublime Shape" artistic category in Brickcon 2014.  That's one of the art categories.  We're honored, there are tons of amazing MOC's at Brickcon.  And, as you can see, the trophies themselves are pretty cool.  This is our second trophy, the Lego Disney Wonder won a microscale contest a few years ago.
"Sublime Shape" trophy for the Lego Droids, Brickcon 2014
We had a few mishaps, L3-G0's front foot took a beating, I think the hinges are getting looser so it falls apart more readily :(.  MCK-Y is new, so had teething problems.  The light is a battery hog, and his wheels are funny rubber bean bags (Lego tires filled with real beans), which make him have a cute wobble, but also make the wheels fall off.  Definitely need to figure out how to get better wheels in the future.  His wheels are also pinned on with 3 technic pins, so we were able to keep repairing the wheels until the pins actually broke!

Anyway, we'll leave you with a photo of the droids:
Lego R2D2 and Mouse Droids

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rose City Comicon

I've been remiss in posting.  L3-G0 has visited a school, Children's Hospital, and a few conventions, and attended a Unicode Technical Committee meeting (last post was backdated).  He's also gotten a new friend, MCK-Y the Lego MSE-6 Mouse (aka Baby Box) droid.

Anyway, here he is at Rose City Comicon.  Roaming the halls we met lots of folks, including Master Chief from Halo!

Hey, Master Chief!

It wasn't as crowded as ECCC, so we were fairly free to roam at will, though we always attracted a crowd.  Some weren't very well behaved though, vandals!

Vandal Attacking Lego R2D2 With a Bat!
And, of course, there was tons of other cool stuff.  Here L3-G0 poses on the red carpet with a Back to the Future Delorean replica, and a Doctor Who Tardis.

L3-G0 with Tardis and Delorean
This hexacopter was flying around the celebrity area, Artoo took offence and tried to tell him that it was a no-fly no-camera zone!  (I'm still hoping to find his video of this confrontation).
L3-G0 tries to fend off a Quadrocopter

While we were in the celebrity area, Wil Wheaton took notice.  He was nice.
Garrett Wang was also hilarious on the red carpet.  He saw L3-G0 while talking to a fan and flew over his table to run up to L3-G0 and take his photo.  Startled us terribly.  I heard him apologize to his fans when he went back.
Oh, no, L3-G0's lost his head!   We also participated in the R2-D2 Builder's Club talk about building Astromechs, where we showed off some of our droids and how they are built.  It was a talk like this that helped me decide to make L3-G0, lots of folks get there start building by seeing the other droids at a 'con and seeing such a talk.
L3-G0 at builder's talk with head off.
And we all posed together in the lobby.  Group photo time.
Astromechs in the Lobby at Rose City Comicon

And of course everyone wanted to pose with L3-G0 and the other droids.  I don't think he minds.
L3-G0 likes her R2-D2 skirt
It can get quite crowded though....
Crowds of picture takers
Things went pretty well this time around, I guess we're getting better at this.  We had two problems: the drive wheels keep slipping on the driveshaft.  The chain turns a sprocket which uses a bolt as an axle, but the set screws (on all 4 shafts, he's 8-wheel drive) keep slipping.  I tried drilling a notch in the shaft for the set screw to grip, and broke the bit.  That seems to have helped the most, having the ground up bit mashed in there to keep it from slipping!  Anyway we had to fix it several times.

I also drove ineptly (again) and mashed a shoulder (same one) into a vendor's table.  The right shoulder's smashed itself 3 times now!!!

The lights died right before seeing Wil Wheaton, so we had to come back for a better pix.

The other problem is an odd electrical thing.  He started freaking out and spraying his mist all the time (he can startle folks with canned air), and his dome started spinning madly.  We'd had a similar problem where the mist freaked out, so we unplugged it.  Then his dome refused to move.  But we thought it was fixed before the con.  Last day we had to leave early though.

When I got home I checked EVERYTHING trying to repro the problem, but it wouldn't happen.  Eventually I replaced the fuse on that circuit (it's the car-type fuses) and he was great.  I left his head spinning for a half hour to prove it.  What happened is that the fuse was apparently weak.  Eventually the dome motor controller got it hot enough that the volts dropped (from resistance), but it didn't blow.  That confused the motor controller which was also reading the RC signals, and sent gibberish to the Arduino controlling the mist, and of course it confused itself about the dome's movement.  What a freaky problem.  What a relief to have figured it out.

We had tons of fun at Rose City Comicon, we'll try to see if we can make it next year!

Friday, August 8, 2014

L3-G0 attends Unicode Technical Committee Meeting

L3-G0 has a good buddy that's interested in millions of forms of communication.  He couldn't make it, so L3-G0 decided to attend the Unicode Technical Committee meeting in his stead.  (L3-G0 follows me to work somewhat often.  I'm losing count, but he's visited about 10 of the buildings on campus).

Lego R2D2 at Unicode Technical Committee meeting
L3-G0 with colleague at UTC meeting
I saw a copy of the meeting minutes, and he's listed on the attendee roster :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Star Wars Day, May the 4th be With You!

(General L3-G0 Video is at if you are just looking for Lego R2D2 videos)

@()$*&)(*& Sandpeople!

Lego R2D2 fallen on the sidewalk with right shoulder shattered.
L3-G0 faceplant, @#$_()* Sandpeople!
I was running a little bit late, so I let us be a little rushed and didn't watch for sidewalk cracks close enough (I even thought about it and figured the 2 I could see were OK so the 3rd was probably good), and L3-G0's body tripped as I was trying to get it out of the slight drizzle. 

His right shoulder got mangled again, and one of the front panels screws got pulled out.  A few bricks were scratched or dented and I'll probably replace them.

On the plus side, I don't think I have another picture of the bottom of his feet, and from the label I can now clearly tell which one is the Right Foot!  (As if I didn't know).

Fortunately the 501st was there, though where an Imperial learned to repair Lego Astromechs is beyond me.

L3-G0 the Lego R2-D2 and a 501st Jawa
L3-G0 the Lego R2-D2 and a 501st Jawa
501st trying to repair L3-G0 the Lego R2D2
501st trying to repair L3-G0 the Lego R2D2

Unfortunately he missed the group photo while I put his shoulder back together, but I got a couple more photos with the 501st.
L3-G0 the Lego R2D2 with some of the 501st
L3-G0 the Lego R2D2 with some of the 501st
L3-G0 considering a Tuskan Raider
L3-G0 considering a Tuskan Raider
Probably even more dangerous than the face plant was a run-in with a Sarlacc, I mean Gus Lopez, a Star Wars... collector!  Fortunately the endorphin rush Gus got from bagging a stuffed Bantha allowed L3-G0 to slip away...

Gus Lopez with L3-G0 the Lego R2-D2, Sandtrooper stumbling in background.
No Gus, you may not collect L3-G0 the Lego R2-D2 :)
(I'm not quite sure what's up with the pigeon-toed Sandtrooper, I guess he's still looking for the right droids :-)
After going back home (and finding my daughter who managed to vanish) we went back out to the mall for a few minutes.  Apparently the Minifig he bought at Comicon wasn't enough for him.
First stop was to check out the Lego store. I tried explaining the birds and the bees, but apparently I didn't make the right beeps and whistles, so L3-G0's still trying to figure out where he came from.
L3-G0 the Lego R2-D2 at the Lego Store
L3-G0, the Lego R2-D2 trying to figure out from whence he came
After my earlier wipe out (and random stranger kids wonder why we don't let them at the remote control), my daughter insisted that she be the one with the controls.  I'm not quite sure if it was her or L3-G0 that wanted to look at XBox One games...

L3-G0 the Lego R2D2 perusing a shelf of XBox One games
L3-G0 the Lego R2D2 perusing a shelf of XBox One games
 Since it was Star Wars Day, we ran into the obligatory Princess Leia hairdo of course!

L3-G0 with a fan on Star Wars Day
L3-G0 with a fan on Star Wars Day
And as if L3-G0's ''where did I come from?" question wasn't confusing enough already, we ended up at the Disney store.  (Looking for one of those Banthas Gus had showed us.)  Everyone there learned that, in addition to several Star Wars classics, L3-G0 already knows the Disney production logo theme "When You Wish Upon a Star" as well as "Let it Go".

L3-G0 at the local Disney Store
L3-G0 at the local Disney Store

 Anyway, that was L3-G0's Star Wars Day, May the 4th be With You!