My daughter got an R2D2 toy believing it was electronically controlled, just to find out that it was only an empty shell. She was very disappointed, so I said I could probably make it come alive. So this is where it all started.
The challenge was to add the mechanical component that were missing inside the shell. Thankfully, I have a 3D printer, I really love it!
I had to print a few parts and put together some electronics.
The head gear is mounted on a geared DC motor (bottom left) I got off ebay. The motor are controlled using a DRV8833 H-Bridge circuit via the PCA9685 I2C PWM drive circuit.
The optical beam interrupter (top right) is used with 3 optical switches. The switches provide travel limits to the head. The optical switches are wired to regular GPIO on the RPi.
For this project I purchased an off the shelf lithium battery that provides a 5V output. I took the cells out and the charging circuit and I made some mounting hardware and a button to be able to push it to see the 4 LED indicating the state of charge. I also added an On/Off circuit to control cycle the RPi on or off. The motors and all the circuits that needs a lot of current are wired directly to the 5V supply.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.