Funnily enough, it turns out this actually was not the droid he was looking for. “My original plan was to build a Wall-E robot, which seems more cute and therefore might be more attractive to my girlfriend,” says Xiang, a computer science Ph.D. student. “Unfortunately, Wall-E toys available in the market are too small for Raspberry Pi hacking. The R2-D2 toy is larger and I happened to find that one guy was selling several unworkable R2-D2 toys for a low price. So I bought one immediately and started to hack it.”
Like Anakin Skywalker, Xiang knows how to tinker with droids. His Artoo tracks faces and motion, is motorized for movement, and has the ability to respond to voice commands — but sadly doesn’t have a spring-loaded lightsaber or holographic projector.
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