About Me


Click Here! to visit websiteMy passion for building robots and anything sci-fi started at a very young age. I can remember growing up a kid and watching Lost in Space and Star Trek on TV. I first became interested in robots when I saw the movie “Tobor the Great”. The robot in the movie was called Tobor (which is robot spelled backwards). From that moment on, I became interested in trying to build my very own working Tobor robot. At that time, I tried to gather up anything I could find on the robot Tobor the Great, but I soon found out that there really wasn't anything available. You need to remember that this was all before the age of the internet.


As I grew older I decided to get into building and flying RC airplanes and helicopters. I enjoyed this hobby very much, but often I was at the mercy of the weather, crowded fields and of coarse the painful aftermath of a crash! I decided I want to try and find a hobby where I could utilize my talents as an electronics engineer, my skills as a painter and sculpture along with my passion for robots.


My wife (Maryann) was the inspiration here when she told

me that R2D2 was her favorite robot character from the Star Wars movie. I decided to research the web to see if there was any information I could find that would help me build a full size R2D2. To my surprise I found an R2D2 builders group, just dedicated to people like me who have a passion for Star Wars and for building full size R2D2 robots. This was it!


I soon found out that there was a robot builders group and a yahoo robot builder discussion forum for just about any robot project you can imagine. The men and women you meet in these builders groups are just terrific. You soon find out that there are people from all walks of life in these builders groups that share your same passion. So, if someone feels they need to be an electronics engineer or a mechanical engineer to build a robot, well that is just not true! The builders groups and the builder discussion forum are places where builders discuss there projects and problems they are having, how to build a part or can I purchase a part.


We encourage all new builders to join a builders group (many are free), do research on the project and participate in the yahoo discussion forums. I hold the annual Midwest builders gathering at my house in the summer in order to get builders from all over to come and share the experiences,there talents in demonstrations as well as to show off there recent projects. You will never meet a better bunch of talented people.


I have been asked many times, “Is R2D2 expensive to build?” I tell them, that all depends. You can spend anywhere from $500.00 to over $9000.00 on a fully functional R2D2. It all depends if you want to scratch build many of the parts or do you want to buy a machined parts. I am asked, “How long did it take to build him?” I tell them it took me 3.5 years to build my R2D2. I try to let them not to focus on how long it will take, but just enjoy the journey along the way. The whole idea is not give up.


My R2D2 has given me lots of enjoyment. I have taken him out to the Chicago Children's Memorial Hospital in order to help provide some cheer to the kids there. I also participate every year with a children's charity event that helps to raise money for children's cancer.


I do want to thank my wife Maryann, my daughter, Lauren (currently attending MIT for geo-physics and planetary science), and my son, Brian, who will be attending in the fall the University of Illinois College of Engineering (and will be studying computer programming) for being very supportive of my hobby. I also want to say thank you to the many great builder friends that I have met through the various builders groups and forums, for without there help and inspiration none of this would be possible.




Thomas Jozwiak: tom.jozwiak@comcast.net