Last year at CES, I remember seeing a life-size, fully functioning R2-D2
unit (minus the Leia hologram, sadly). I assumed it was hired out from a professional movie props unit or something similar; now I'm not so sure. Walking around SX Create -- the maker faire section at SXSW -- I bumped into not one, but two equally well-made replicas only to find they were handmade. In fact, there's an entire club -- funnily enough, called R2-D2 Builders
-- dedicated to making them. What's more, the models I saw were built using a veritable menagerie of weird and wonderful items, including a good old lazy susan. But that doesn't mean building your own R2 comes cheap, or is a project for the faint-hearted.