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United Kingdom

I would suggest that you keep it too. All of the hacking would mainly be done on the inside so you wouldn't ruin it's looks. I look forward to see how you will tackle it.
Hi Steve, Yeah, I think it will be fun. The best part is the wife likes it too. LOL

I haven't taken it apart yet but I took a fast look at it and I think it was designed to be an interactive toy. I think I see places under the dome where leds would be located. Even though the foot bottoms are flat, it looks like the foot pods were made to have wheels. Once I tear it down I will see what can be done.

The arms are moveable which will allow me to pivot the body and install a front leg for stability and help with the steering.( I guess just a caster). I plan on 3d printing the front leg unless I find something lying around that fits. I did a quick search of the local club sites to get quick ideas. After the holiday later this week, I will look at what I have to work with, and begin a plan.


Ron R
Quick update,,

I pulled the R2D2 apart and it looks like I was right about the original concept of design being motorized. The dome has a ring gear and mounting for a gear box on a bearing tray. There are also mountings for LEDs and the large "blue eye" comes out as one piece, which allows an easy hack for lights or camera mounting.

The body has some areas that also allow removal.

The legs have some kind of strut inside. Though the bottom of the foot is solid, it may allow an easy wheel mounting.

I couldn't take pictures this morning, but I will start a new post showing what is inside. I am curious if this is the shell from the old Hasbro unit or the same molds were used.

I found a front foot on the net and will modify and print one out. Once I get it right I will post the .STL. The mount will come later.

I guess it wasn't a bad investment for a hack after all.

Ron R
United Kingdom

You defiantly should start your own project showcase thread as I t'll be great to see the mods you make step by step.
I can't wait to see the break down!

On an unrelated note if anyone knows of a big ( not the little ones but at least foot high) ED-209 let me know I am dying to hack him as well and don't feel like making one from scrap
Maybe you could use an electronic vapor cigarette unit to generate fog for your project. You could use a small air pump to draw and disperse the vapor fog.
@jeremie I got the gallon of smoke juice and a smoke machine. I will try to do a projection, but it probably won't work. I spoke with my friend about what you wanted to do. He said it is really hard, because the smoke disperses and there is no way to focus the image.

We came up with an idea to put a very light silk ribbon (as wide as the projection you want, kind of "V" shaped, )update: or a round tube for 3d)) in a tube with a flat nozzle at the end. Blow smoke, using the smoke juice and an electric cigarette thru the tube while paying out a thread to which the light silk is attached to. The smoke would disguise the silk, but give a focus area to project on. The tube would be deployed from the robot, smoke started, silk sheet deployed, projection done, video completed the silk retracted, smoke stopped, tube retracted.

I know it sounds complex, but the only way we thought it could be done.

Co2 cloud is complex but has the same issue plus costly to produce.

A glass screen placed in one spot to project on could work but looks lousey.

I tried, but doing a image projection on smoke is real tough.

Ron R
Hi @jayutmb

Give me a day or two. I will post teardown photos. It look pretty good for a hack.

Ron R
Wow Ron, thanks for looking into that!

Hmmm maybe it's just a pipe dream (seems like there should be a pun in there somewhere since we are talking about smoke lol). Just as @Steve had suggested I was also thinking of trying to push the smoke through a manifold with lots of exit points to try and direct the smoke into a sheet of smoke. Thanks @Steve for sharing your experience with dry ice.

Funny enough on Halloween a friend of mine sent me a link for some rear projection material (probably close to silk) that is semi-transparent. Check out the video, you can hardly tell it's there:

Maybe I'll try the projection material first, seems it'll be a lot easier. Thanks for the idea Ron! I know you mentioned smoke + silk but using just a silk-like material may work as well.

I think I'll get R2 to open a hatch, flip up a small piece of the material and then project onto it once it is in place. It will likely look much better than projecting on smoke would but smoke is still a cool effect.

I didn't realize that model trains have tiny electronic smoke producing accessories. *Edit* Thanks to @Hecbom for the info!
United Kingdom
No worries Jeremie. I did think about putting a fan on top of the bucket to force the vapor through the pipe faster (bit like jets), but didn't like the idea of hanging an electric fan over the vapors.

I did have a look about the stuff that's used to make steam for model railways, but apparently it's quite messy stuff and leaves a sticky residue once it settles. I love the video though. That's a really good projection image. (made me jump too, lol). *eek* Have you got that link for the projection material?

EDIT: Don't worry, I found some.

Clear rear projection film
lol, hopefully it didn't scare you too bad Steve:)

Here's the link:

I'm sure there's probably an equivalent material at my local craft store but I haven't had a chance to look. I'd much rather go the local route as I only need a small piece of material.
Well,, LOL,, I got a gallon of "Smoke Juice" and a smoke machine. It looks like I will fire it up on the weekend and see if I can fill my workshop with magic smoke anyway.. I must warn my wife not to call the fire department..

Ron R
United Kingdom

Just gone to bed, but having trouble sleeping for some reason?:P


Good luck with the experiment. I'll look forward to hearing/seeing your results.
Hello All,
I ran the smoke machine and got way more than I expected. It filled the shop quickly and it drove me out...LOL...

Commercial smoke juice comes in gallons (US) and works by heating a cup then pumping the juice into the cup. Blowing air over it thru a nozzle with holes in it makes the smoke.

You can make a lot of smoke easily, but it may get messy. Combining it with the fan and screen ribbon would look great for the projection.

Ron R

PS there it an odor, not bad, but it has a smell.
Ah man.... you guys are doing it the hard way.... Here's what you do... Just go out and buy a bunch of arduino Uno's and run 24 Volts through them. Reverse the polarity if you're feelin' it :D...... That should provide you with a lot of that magical smoke for your hologram.... :P
Hello my friend,,,, Yes, there are plenty around, and cheap too!

Any thoughts about those VEX motor Servos? or should I add them to the Arduinos?

Ron R