Three years ago, I went to my first Maker Faire. If you haven't seen Make magazine, you're missing out. These are definitely my people. And the Maker Faire in San Francisco is a huge gathering of think for yourself, do it yourself, hack it, re-adapt it, figure it out and do something cool and unexpected with it people. It's sort of like Burning Man without the extreme heat, dust, and camping.
So on my first visit, Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame, gave a talk and slide show about prop building. And I was totally inspired. I already idolized the guy, and after he showed his years long quest to build a perfect Maltese Falcon, an Indiana Jones whip, and the badass gun from The Fifth Element, it opened new doors for me. I had been craving for a project, and his example gave me the courage to tackle it.
Shortly after that, I put two and two together and started thinking about R2D2. I must have seen the R2 builders there that trip, and I had seen Michael McMaster's R2 at the California State Fair a few years before that. I've always had a serious robot fetish, and a huge sci fi (esp. Star Wars) fan, so taking on the R2 project was a natural fit. I started my R2 in earnest shortly after that, and finished him a little over a year later. But I wasn't done in time to take him to the Maker Faire last year. So this year, I'm going to be on the other side of the table with a fully functioning droid. I'm psyched. Chris James took the lead on this one and got us all set up, so it should be a great two days for the Bay Area R2 Builders. I'll post a full report when I get back, or maybe even during. If you're there, stop by and see us in the Fiesta Hall.