(R2 Steam Too)

"R2... I am your father"

Not many people know that the predecessor of R2-D2, was a less well known steam powered droid named R2-S2 (R2 Steam too)

The Build

The first robot that I ever built, was a R2.... out of legos when I was 5 years old. So after building over a dozen steam powered contraptions, when I "grew up", I knew I had to visit my old friend R2. I love machines with personalities and charm. You can love or hate StarWars, but everyone loves R2. To many of us, R2D2 was our first introduction to robots, he's a swiss army gadget bot with charm, who always saves the day. It just doesn't get any better than that.

The Mechanics:

Mounting the steam engines, using
sprockets and chains to drive the

The Chassis/Body was a broken Hasbro R2D2 Interactive Droid, won from ebay for cheap, no one wanted a broken droid? Luckily it was the electronics and not the mechanics that had issues. I didn't need all of  electronics, and only needed the body and gearboxes.
I stripped out all of the guts out of R2.... yes it was disturbing.

I kept the gearbox and the body shell and discarded the rest. The electric motors was removed, and in replaced with a shaft, with sprockets attached on the outside. The duel steam engines were then attached, and powers the sprockets via chains.

Strengthening the frame, and adding
R/C servos

The Power:

Heat proofing the body, with sheet
metal and fiberglass insulation
I was able to use an old Cheddar Boiler, which was slim enough to fit inside the body, with just enough room for insulation. I used sheet metal and fiberglass insulation material toline the inside of the main body, to prevent the plastic body from melting from the heat. I used two Wilesco marine engines, and split the steam for each engine using heat resistant silicone tubing.

The steam pressure needs to be built up around 20 psi for a pretty short run. The
gas fired flue boiler simply can not keep up with the thirsty demands of the two engines.

Gearing is very low, and R2S2 runs at a snail crawl.... However, R2S2 is still holds the record for the fastest steam powered R2 in any galaxy.

Functional R/C steam R2

Finishing Touches:

Wood Lagged Cylinders
I was very happy with R2, even with the limited performance, but I wanted a bit more of a steampunk look and feel.

I wood lagged the steam engine cylinders, applied
brass, wood and leather decals. The boiler pressure gauge also fit through a hole in the head. The sight glass and blow down valve is visible though the right body panel.

New color scheme, brass, wood, black leather for more
of an old victorian look and feel

The boiler pressure gauge


Chassis/Body: One broken Hasbro R2D2 Interactive Droid
Steam Engines: Two Wilesco D48 maine engines
Steam Boiler: Cheddar
Fuel: Propane Butane mix
R/C: 2 Ch
Run Time: 10 mins

Original Video

Video 2
Here is another video, with improved speed, and an interview with robots-dreams

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