Star Wars-inspired AI droid travels Europe


Goran Vuksic, a developer, recently traveled around Europe with an Edge AI-powered droid, which resembles a repair droid from the Star Wars franchise.

"In Star Wars, Pit Droids are repair droids designed to maintain the racing vehicles "podracers." These droids are 1.2 meters in height and are able to fold when not in use. Their funny behavior is explained in a way that they were programmed with a sense of urgency but without enough processing power to perform some complex tasks," Vuksic’s blog reads.

Being a Star Wars fanatic, he wrote a step-by-step guide on how to build a bot in case you'd like to give it a go, too. Essentially, the droid can see objects, process information in real time, and move accordingly.

It took Vuksic four months to build the four-foot-tall droid – first to 3D-print and assemble the body parts and then to implant a robotic brain into the droid. It can move in all directions, and Vuksic keeps upgrading the droid during his free time.

Vuksic works as an engineering manager for Pandora – yes, the same luxury jewelry brand based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The droid's brain is powered by Nvidia's Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit. The Nvidia Jetson platform enables the development of autonomous machines and embedded applications through powerful computing modules, software acceleration, and a comprehensive ecosystem.

Vuksic recently traveled to tech conferences in Belgium and the Netherlands to present the topic of computer vision and AI, with the droid as a real-world demo.

"We live in a connected world – all the things around us are exchanging data and becoming more and more automated. I think this is super exciting, and we'll likely have even more robots to help humans with tasks," Vuksic said.

That said, it's still a challenge to travel with the droid.

"There was a bit of explanation necessary when I was passing security and opened my bag, which contained the robot in parts," Vuksic mused. "I said, 'This is just my big toy!'"