In 2006, I wanted to make a homemade R2D2 costume that I could drive from the inside. You might not believe this but I am 5′ 11″ and 200 lbs and I fit in and drive this costume around!
I did a little research and printing out pictures and I came up with a basic plan how I wanted it to work. I thought hand drills would be a cool way to drive it with tank like hand grips. Discussing this project with my dad we started the project and several times thought about canceling the project. But we pushed ahead and finished it well before Halloween of 2006.
My brother Rodney made a couple machined parts that made up the wheel drives which were basically hand drill motors that drove a couple of rubber wheels with a friction transmission.
There is a camera in the front of R2D2, because I actually sit in reverse. The video originally was displayed on an Archos DVR (pre-tablet days). In the video, I was using my VGA i-glasses by virtual i/o from the 1990s… The reason I sat in reverse was mainly so R2D2 didn’t tip over from my weight.
There are two fans because it gets just a bit stuffy in there. There is also a speaker so I can play some sound effects. Also, special thanks to my son for the video editing :)
Here’s the R2D2 costume in action:
Here’s how I built this homemade R2D2 costume: