The R2D2 Build Cont'd.

     Assembly of this droid takes place over 18-24 months whereby the dome, legs and main body are always in various stages of completion.  This page will focus on the construction of R2's legs which consist of the white metal chassis, exterior details, the motors, sensors and wiring.  Assembly of the right leg is almost identical to the left so we did not duplicate each step for both legs on this page.  Here goes...

  Assembly of R2 ​'s Legs
        We begin with the assembly of the right shoulder as well as the white metal fittings that are snapped/glued into place.  The exterior shell for the leg consists of several plastic pieces that are eventually bolted to a three piece white metal frame (see below right).  The foot, drive wheel and motor are secured to this framework in upcoming issues.  Pretty straightforward.

  Assembly of R2 ​'s Motors
        Securing the motor for the right leg to the white metal frame is relatively easy although you must measure carefully the wire loom prior to installation.  Failure to do so can cause a real headache when the exterior cover is bolted over the wiring loom making any adjustments to the wiring almost impossible.  Next we added R2's "foot" and then the power cables.  This whole process is repeated for R2's left leg whereby the assembly is pretty much identical to the right leg.  Next, we focus on the main body...

  The Main Body
        Once we have finished with the left leg and the R2's dome, the next four installments begin with the assembly of the main body and  installation of some of the electrical components.  The first side panel and mounting brackets are highlighted below.  The rear panel is finished in Issue 74.  Assembly of R2's tool compartment is completed during Issue 79​​
and features two tool arms that swing out from the tool compartment.

  Tool Compartments
        Assembly of R2's main body is really coming along as evidenced by the construction of the side panel featuring the ultrasonic sensors and R2D2's arms.  In addition, this particular panel has at least two tool compartments which have doors that open and close.  Assembly of the side panel included the installation of the two tool compartments, the ultrasonic sensor array and both of the upper and lower arms.  We connected the control panel and battery pack and tested their operation to insure that everything was working properly.

  R2D2's Arms and Sensor Array
        We continue with the assembly of the front body panel which features the tool compartments, a proximity sensor array and R2's arms.  These arms can extend from its body using a small motor secured to the back of the main panel.  We assembled a clutch linkage (pictured below) that provides the link between the motor and the arms.  The final step in this stage of the assembly is to test the function of the arms by securing the motor leads to our control board and battery pack.  Both arms worked beautifully in unison and confirmed that our installation was successful.

  Body Panel Assembly
        In Issues 86-89 we completed the assembly of the second tool compartment.  Both tool compartments are installed on the right and left sides of R2's front body panel.  Installation was easy and assembly of the  "tools" was very straightforward as well.  These two panels will be mounted to the front panel in Issue 89 as seen below.

  Center Foot
        Issues 89-90 include the parts to assemble R2's center foot.  Assembly is very straightforward with the addition of the lubricators, two forward micro switches and finally the white metal mounting bracket.  The wiring looms in both of the legs were bundled in order to thread them through R2's shoulder later in Issue 91.  The center foot is also mounted to the chassis in this issue as well.
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