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Do you remember the road safety campaign from a number of years ago that involved Dave Prowse (Darth Vader) and a small robot. The aim of the campaign was to to teach kids about road safety. The years have now passed and the small robot was forgotten, left in the back of a shed, until now. After all these years the Green Cross Code Robot is going to be reborn, given a full electronics make over and brought back to life.A massive thanks to Dave Prowse for giving me the opportunity to rebuild this iconic piece of television history.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Complete

At last, the Green Cross Code Droid from the 1982 TV advert lives again.

video

On the whole the Droid is completely original cosmetically. There had to be a few panels that needed to be rebuilt and some internal wood that needed to be replaced because the original had rotted away. He has not been resprayed, instead the original paintwork has been restored along with all the genuine bumps and scuffs that he received over the last three decades. The electronic were a different mater. The original electronics had had it and internal batteries had corroded over the electronic rendering them dead. The new electronics will keep him going for many years and combined with his new Bluetooth sound system, lot of fun can be had sending different sounds from any iPod or bluetooth device.
All the original motors have been rebuilt and are still working, plus have a few more years left in them yet. It is a shame that this unit was not the screen robot that had all the flashing lights because I like flashing lights. All the lighting systems fitted now work as they originally did. Power comes from two modern 15 Amp SLA batteries providing 24v to the main drive system and  12v to the lights and dome. All the internal circuits are independently fused so hopefully there should be no problem when he goes out on tour. Radio system is state of the art 2.4ghz so there will be no issue with cross channel interference at events.
It has been great fun restoring this little Droid and I hope it sees lots of public events touring around with Dave Prowse.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Complete

"Its life Jim, but not as we know it"

The Green Cross Code Droid has come back to life.
video

I had to go with 24v for the main drive system. Head is running at 12v as is the lighting system. The droid is a bit slow by todays motor standards but to keep it as original as possible the original motors for the main drive and head drive where rebuilt.  It is also a bit noisy as it uses old fashioned supermarket trolley wheels, but they have to say as they are part of the original design, should be ok on a nice smooth floor. i need to complete the back door and a few cosmetic bits and pieces need attention but on the whole, it is back.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Droid almost complete


All the electronics have now arrived so I can start getting this Droid moving.
Radio system I have gone for is a 2.4ghz one which will be ideal for public events with such a large droid. It is also computer programmable which is an extra bonus.


Dimension engineering, Sabretooth Electronic Speed control systems for the main drive and head.


Power coupling connectors for connecting the main body to the motor drive base.
The top body section and base can be separated for transporting to events.



Starting the wire up the ESC system. I like fuses. Each component has its own fused circuit just in case.



Mounting the motor power coupling. 



It is easy to reach down into the body and connect and disconnect the base and top section connector





Main power switch is under the left hand side wing, hidden from view.


Fitting the 24v to 12v step down convertor for the lighting and dome motor.






Power for the lights at last, we have life.



The lights were a bit bright and had hots spots. A better diffuser was fitted making the light much more even.

There is now not much more to do. There is a some finishing of the power connectors and the wiring all needs to be secured with cable ties. I think I might add some under body green neons just for fun.
The sound system needs sorting out, probably a Blue tooth receiver will be fitted to keep things very simple.
I will add some videos she the Droid moves for the first time.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Some beauty shots


I wonder, did this droid ever have a name?




Good job I noticed, before the glue dried, that I had stuck the coloured rectangles on in the wrong order. Now they are correct, RED, YELLOW(AMBER) GREEN.




The rear panel is not made yet. I have no idea what the original looked like to I might make it see through and put the internal electronics on show.

The Little Droid is looking good.

It has taken nearly two days of solid work to get the Droid looking like it did in its early days.
The first task was removing two decades of stains and dirt. After about eight buckets of water and so fairly horrid etching liquids the GRP is looking nice and shinny, as good as new. I am not going to respray the droid at all as I want to retain the original colour and finish. It is chipped in places and paint missing but this simply adds to its character and most important, it originality. 



Shinny after about three coats of car wax.




All the perspex has been cleaned inside and out and the stop sign is now looking good.

Ears repainted. 


All the front lights initially worked but one by one they started to fail so instead of replacing them with LED's I have rebuilt each light adding new filaments to each removed from similar lamp holders. It would have been much easier to replace them with LED's however, this way the original look is kept.

The front panel was always going to be a challenge as it was completely trashed due to the fact that it is made from plastic and card board. Most of the original material had fallen of or simply rotted away. I am going to replace the original panels using the same material that the original used, card.


What was left stuck on looked like it was dark grey or black so I have gone with black.



You can see in the image above some of the original backing still stuck on.


I have added a bit of relief to the panels by using 3mm card as opposed to 1mm, I think it looks better and it is much closer to the original, or at least what I guess, based on what fragments of the original were left.


I love the eighties Audioline speaker grill, Now polished up with most of the rust removed. The speaker is still fitted behind, not tested as yet. It is a card cone on the speaker so we will see if it still works.


All nicely finished.



The top rings were completely missing but i new they are meant to be there due to the research I have done. They also look very chunky in all the videos of the original 1982 Droid, so I decided to try and copy them as close as I could. They look like they were made from hardboard as they have a rough cut look, so I copied this and made the replacements out of 2mm hardboard. 



Coloured vinyl overlays, just like the original.


We have eyebrows


In all the videos and pictures i have for reference the eyebrows look red so I made them red.


Complete top light. Unfortunately this unit does not light up as it is made from solid wood. I would love to replace this with a real light that flashed but that would not make it authentic, so instead I will just refurbish the original. It has a yellow vinyl wrap with charcoal grey pin stripe. I have added some chrome highlights to give it a shinny look.



Cosmetically he is nearly complete. I managed to find the original enamel green paint so have been able to touch up any green areas which have been chipped. The white is looking much better now due to the multiple coats of car wax. 
I have done the best I can with regards to the look as I have had real trouble finding reference ,material for this particular Droid. There were clearly multiple versions of this Droid used in the TV adds and this one does not seem to appear in any of then bar one which is an early and very blurry one. 
I am assuming that this Droid was used as part of the school road safety campaign, that is why it was fitted with a sound system and has fixed STOP panels and non working ears and top light. 
All the internal lights are now working as are all the motors. 
The next phase will be the internal electronics and getting the Droid to move.