Today R5D4 visited the Physics & Robotics department at the Providence high school in Burbank, Ca. Over 200 young adults examined the construction methods, blueprints, schematics and applications of general robotics from hobby to health care applications. Several years ago on the east coast, I was able to facilitate starting a program at a magnet high school in Tantasqua, Mass that was centered around the building of R2D2. The CAD department, electronics and machine shops all got involved in making their version of that “overweight glob of grease” as a class project and it sprung into as full blown program that the entire school got involved in. Hopefully I can get something started on the west coast. It always starts like this….anyway…The students at this school had a lot of interesting questions ranging from the usual cost, length of time to build and what does it do to how effective has it been in helping sick children cope with their hospital stay, RC technologies, AI and other rather advanced application questions, limitations and problems. It was a very enjoyable and stimulating 2 hour question and answer session. They got to see what was inside R5, his frame make up, schematics, different domes and some of R5’s special functions like the fogger, Extinguisher and front charging and power port.
The Down Syndrome Association of Orange County (DSAOC) held their annual buddy walk this Sunday Nov 8th to promote the awareness of Downs Syndrome and a group of us were privileged to be a part of that effort and in support of Matthew Hendricks and his son Trevor. The turnout was fantastic. The costumes from the 501st were outstanding and we had a great showing of droids to boot! Once the kids saw the cast of characters and droids it was a mob scene like no other. It was Great!!! Our friends from the US Army were there as well to show their support. Hooah!! However, we had to warn them about a certain Tusken Raider who was “eyeing” that fancy rig of theirs!!!!
Once the Buddy Walk commenced pandemonium quickly ensued but we were ready! The crowd eventually got so thick that it became impossible to take pictures and control the droid so I had to maneuver my droid to keep some of the kids from damaging my R5. One kid actually took my restraining bolt and I had to catch him to get it back. Victor had his Arm servo damaged on his R2D2 and even C;loe had her snuggle taken for a short while by one of the crowd. They kept us hopping!! After the initial wave of walkers came through we were on our way back to our break room when some “clowns” (volunteers) snagged Ken and I for a quick little photo-op. Who could say no to that!! After a while I had my R5 on the grass and then on the baseball diamond running the bases with Will and his droid. Fun Times!!
I went ahead and weathered my R4 dome to match the R5 body. One thing you dont want to happen is have the dome look mismatched to the body. Having multiple heads that match a single droid body lets my droid add to the variety of the group during an event. It lessens the chance that someone else will have the same looking or same type of droid. So what do you think? Here is the same droid with the R4 dome and with the R5 dome. I also included some rear shots of the domes to show off some of the weathering