This DIY voice-controlled R2-D2 made a fantastic gift for one lucky geek

Hardware modders seem to love R2-D2. We’ve seen him take the form of a beverage dispenser, a PC casemod, and even a life-sized replica that you could climb into and steer around. So it should go without saying that a voice-controlled R2-D2 might be the best birthday present ever.

YouTube user Greensheller built a miniature R2-D2 for his girlfriend out of an old interactive toy. But unlike the typical interactive toy, this R2-D2 is very responsive: It responds to voice commands in both Chinese and English, can detect motion, and even recognize faces. It can also record a message and reply.

The talent behind this feature-packed R2-D2 robot come from a Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer that gives creative developers the power to do just about anything they need for around $25. Facial recognition capabilities come courtesy of the OpenCV programming toolkit.

Greensheller's creation wakes up when it detects motion, and it will greet you by name when it spots you. You can tell the robot to do all kinds of tasks, from moving in a certain direction to speaking different languages and playing the Star Wars theme.

This little DIY R2-D2 might make a good pet for those that aren’t allowed the furry variety. It's totally normal to take a droid for a walk in the park, right?

[YouTube via Element 14 ]

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