My latest addition to R2 is the "holographic" projector. OK, it's not technically a hologram, but I designed R2 so that he can display videos, PowerPoints, and other images on a wall or screen when I give a presentation.
You can see the lens inside one of R2's "eyes". The projection is controlled by remote control, and it runs off of its own power source; it doesn't drain power from R2's other systems.
The lens has to remain perfectly still and centered on the eye, no matter how bumpy the terrain may be. Holding the lens steady proved to be a challenge inside the curved, bottomless dome. I had to attach a metal plate and some support arms to lock the lens in place.
I think it's a great effect and the perfect addition to R2. Since it is now able to project an entire presentation on its own, including the accompanying sound, R2 is much more than a visual demonstration of computer programming and circuit design. It can now teach you how to build itself!
I had a great time giving a presentation about electronics, programming, and R2-D2! Sci-Fi Central was well attended with over 900 people, and the R2 presentation was one of the most heavily attended programs of the day. It's great to see kids and parents interested in exploring STEM fields, especially electrical and electronic engineering. Serving on the Event Planning Committee for Science Central was an honor, but giving the R2 presentation on behalf of the Midwest R2 Builders was a thrill!
My R2 and I (I'm the Jawa in the photos) were there from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. entertaining the crowd, talking about designing circuit boards and writing software, and making new friends. The "holo projector" I installed inside one of R2's eyes worked beautifully, casting a video of me and R2 up on the wall. I'll write about the holo projector in a future blog.
Now, I need to reorganize my R2 workspace and fix a few things (curious little hands at events tend to perform stress tests on materials with affectionate hugs and twisting of knobs). I didn't have a chance to make any repairs after Sci-Fi Central, and today I was at work an hour longer than I anticipated finishing up a study. I adore my job, by the way! But R2 and I have got more presentations this month so it's time to get him ready for those appearances.