The droids are arguably one of the most iconic aspects of Star Wars, but how would those lovable robots actually perform in real-life space exploration?
Wired posed that question to Jet Propulsion Lab roboticist Brett Kennedy, who took a humorous look at stalwarts R2-D2 and C-3PO, as well as new addition BB-8. The gist comes down to this, basically: BB-8 might be “cool,” but the physics just wouldn’t work in actual execution. You’d need to be exploring a planet with perfectly flat ground, and that’s not likely.
Kennedy went on to say he’s always been a big fan of R2-D2, noting “we could build an R2 today” with existing technology, but it’s C-3PO who is really the most fascinating droid in the gang. Though we already have some humanoid robots that could rival (or surpass) his capabilities, C-3PO still has the edge when it comes to human-like articulation and navigation (which makes sense, as there’s typically an actual human in that robot suit).
Check out the video feature below and let us know what you think: