R2-d2 Hasbro Toy Hack

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So, it’s been a while since I’ve had the screwdrivers and soldering iron out for fun, so figured I’d start a new project and share it with you guys. What I’m working on this time is a toy hack rather than a scratch build, and for this I’ll be using the R2-D2 Interactive Astromech Droid from Hasbro.

For those of you who don’t know, this was released in 2002 and was fully voice controlled (no smart phone or R/C controllers). I purchased this off eBay a couple of years back and after finding out that the voice recognition wasn’t that great (not for me anyway), I was going to do an EZ-Robot conversion similar to what DJ and a few others did... but, as some of you know, I ended up scratch building a full size droid instead so it got packed away and forgot about it.

Recently my girlfriends granddaughter has shown an interest in robotics so I have started helping her out and introducing her to EZ-Robot. While searching for robot bits and peices, I can across the little droid and have set about giving him a new lease of life and make him better than he ever was using a EZ-B v4/2 dev kit and a few sensors etc.

Here goes. Enjoy. ;)
Steve G
Commented February 7
So, screwdrivers at the ready and R2 has now been stripped down...

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And gutted...

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That’s the easy bit done :).
Steve G
Commented February 7
Thinking about where to start, I figured I’d start with one of the important bits... making R2’s head turn.

The Dome Slip Ring.

The first place I started was with the dome rotation....

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So with the original DC motor and optical position reader sensor removed, I found a nice little place to install a HDD servo (little bit of plastic cutting required)...

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In the battery compartment, there is a black plastic flap which separates the AA batteries from the D cell batteries. This made a great servo arm extension which I screwed to the dome slip ring. Then with a quick successful test connecting the servo to an EZ-B, it could be put aside for now...

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Next job, the dome itself.
Steve G
Commented February 7
The Dome.

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With the dome already stripped out, it’s time to put some goodies back in. First off, replacing the original sound sensors with new ones...

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Using the original sound sensor mounts, I cut off the screw hole grommets and used them as washers to secure the new sensors...

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Next job was to fit an RGB LED behind the front Process State Indicator, only using it as a bi-colour board using the red and blue diode pins (and ground of course) for originality. I also put a small peice of paper inside of the lens to defuse the light...

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More to come.
maverick96
Commented March 18

Quote:

bile app on Android or iOS devices, so has th be used with a Windows device (PC, Laptop or full Windows tablet).

The microphone has to be connected to the Windows device running EZ-Builder. The only way to have an internal mic in the robot is to also have an onboard computer. But this can have its own issues...

1.) Noise from the robot, drive motors, servos etc, can interfere with recognition causing phrases not to be heard or cause false positives (robot noises can be interpreted as phrases and the robot would do thinks you don’t want it to).

2.) you would need a special type of microphone known as a “Far Field” mic meaning that your voice can be heard from across a room.

Your best bet would be to use a wired or Bluetooth microphone connected to your computer running EZ-Builder.



Very helpful feedback. One more question if you don’t mind. Again a noob but the unit currently runs on 4 AA batteries. Can I use this power supply to run the IoTiny or would I need a different battery/power source?

Nomad 6R
Commented March 18
lol :D
Steve G
Commented March 18
@maverick96.

Again, it really depends on what kind of modifications you want to do. In a nutshell, you ‘could’ power the EZ-B or IoTiny off the 4 AA batteries, but I wouldn’t recommend it as you will forever be changing the batteries and only get limited run time, especially if you add servos. Rechargeable LiPo batteries are a much better option.

I think the best thing for you to do, is to start your own forum thread, share your ideas, questions etc of what you want to achieve, post some photos of what you have, and the kind of work you want to do or feel capable of doing. From there, you can get some great feedback from myself and some of the great members here to help you along the way. For example, your asking about power requirements which at the moment can’t really be fully answered as we don’t know what modifications you want to do. Once we establish that, we can talk about power.

I’ve posted another tutorial link I wrote below, that talks about different power supply’s that you may find useful. :)

Amps, Volts, Power Converters and Power Supplies
maverick96
Commented March 18

Quote:

gain, it really depends on what kind of modifications you want to do. In a nutshell, you ‘could’ power the EZ-B or IoTiny off the 4 AA batteries, but I wouldn’t recommend it as you will forever be changing the batteries and only get limited run time. Rechargeable LiPo batteries are a much better option.

I think the best thing for you to do, is to start your own forum thread, share your ideas, questions etc of what you want to achieve, post some photos of what you have, and the kind of work you want to do or feel capable of doing. From there, you can get some great feedback from myself and some of the great members here to help you along the way. For example, your asking about power requirements which at the moment can’t really be fully answered as we don’t know what modifications you want to do. Once we establish that, we can talk about power.

I’ve posted another tutorial link I wrote below, that talks about different power supply’s that you may find useful. Smile



Thank you sir. Just getting the intial thought juices flowing to see if this would be a project to undertake. :)

I will definitely start a new thread if I decide to do the modification. I think it could be a fun side project!

Thanks for your time!

Steve G
Commented March 18
No problem. I think it would be a great fun project to get you started. I hope you go through with it. It’ll be nice having another K-9 project here. I started with little knowledge of robot building but jumped in head first and built a full size K-9 (link below) as my very first EZ-Robot build. It was a fun build and learned a lot.

Good luck. :)

Full Size K-9 2.0 Project
Robot
AvatarSteve G
Published on Wednesday, February 7, 2018