Student builds R2-D2 powered by Raspberry Pi
The plucky toy robot can track motion, and responds to voice commands in both English and Chinese.
Count computer science Ph.D. candidate Lingxiang Xiang as the latest tinkerer to tap the potential of the cheapcomputer.
The enterprising student fixed a broken R2-D2 toy replica using a Raspberry Pi computer and other off-the-shelf electronics bought online. The toy was meant to be a birthday gift for his girlfriend.
The end result: a robot with face recognition; motion and distance detection (to avoid bumping into obstacles); and the ability to understand voice commands in both English and Chinese.
Like the movie version, the R2-D2 can also record and play back audio messages, though obviously holographic messages aren't in its repertoire.
More importantly for Xiang, R2-D2 turned out to be a hit with the girlfriend.
For those who wish to build their own R2-D2 replica, Xiang plans to make the instructions available next month. Below is a video of the Raspberry Pi-powered R2-D2 toy.