The Smithfield-Selma High School robotics club needs to raise money for a big competition this spring, so its members got creative. They made their own R2-D2.
The robot hung out in the lobby of Smithfield Cinemas recently as thousands of people came out to watch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” After a couple of days, the club had raised more than $400 from moviegoers impressed by the R2-D2 replica. It needs about $6,000 to enter the upcoming competition.
Kids and adults alike enjoyed the little robot as it moved around making all the R2-D2 sounds. SSS students Noah Kiser, a senior, and Joshua Baker, a sophomore, are part of the team that built the robot. They showed interested kids how to control R2-D2 last week.
The robotics club used a trash can, 2x4s, plywood, foam, gutter couplings, coasters and air vents for the body of the robot. In a salute to technology, R2-D2 got its eye from a 3-D printer. Inside the robot is an old remote-control car, windshield wiper motors and a computer that connects to the controller via wifi.
It took the team 300 hours during four weeks to build R2-D2.
“We thought with the new Star Wars coming out and us being big Star Wars nerds, we could build R2 and use him as a fundraiser,” Baker said.