The power of the Force may be elusive outside the fictional Star Wars universe but fans of R2D2 can take home their very own astromech droid if they have the time and money to build it.
Hundreds of potential droid crafters waited in line to hear from a panel belonging to the R2D2 Builders Club, a group of hobbyists who have been assembling their own functional Star Wars robots out of aluminum, plastic and even wood since 1999.
But how much time does it take to build a bleeping and whirling R2 lookalike?
“Thats the magic question,” said Victor Franco, who has been building his own droids for over a decade. “It’s the one you don’t want your spouse to know the answer to.”
And the answer varies, depending on just how detailed and capable you want your droid to be, with the final price ranging from as little as $500 up to $10,000.
“The average cost is a little over $5,000,” Franco said. “A single small aluminum part can cost $100. It’s not for the faint of heart.”
Not surprisingly, a large variety of parts and electronics go into replicating one of the droids, with potential parts including plywood, aluminum, resin, styrene, transmitters and receivers speed controller servo motor and circuits.