R2-D2 revealed for Hello, Robot exhibition

Images available to download. Credit: Michael McGurk

V&A Dundee has revealed an original R2-D2 robot that will feature in its next major exhibition, Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine, opening on 2 November.

The original R2-D2 film prop first appeared in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Measuring 96cm in height, R2-D2 is an astromech droid designed to repair starships. “ArtooDetoo” communicates by means of digital beeps, translated by his humanoid robot partner C3P0.

The droid was played by British actor Kenny Baker, however, in some scenes R2-D2 was moved by remote control or computer animation.

Kirsty Hassard, V&A Dundee Curator, said: “Robots are part of our everyday and not a moment goes by without new developments in robotic technology.

“How and where we encounter robots, the sort of relationships we form with them, and how we interact with them – or they with us – is no longer the exclusive domain of engineers and IT experts. Designers are now often at the centre of these decisions.

“This is an exciting time, and the right moment to be asking big questions about the role robots should and will play in all our lives.”

This will be the first time V&A Dundee has worked with an international partner on a major show. Hello, Robot is an exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum, MAK Vienna and Design Museum Gent and V&A Dundee is the only UK venue.

Sophie McKinlay, V&A Dundee Director of Programme, said: “The evolution of robotics is one of the most intriguing and important design stories of our time and we are only just at the beginning. Hello, Robot examines our past, current and future relationships with robots and initiates vital conversations about where we are going next.

“We are delighted to be working with Vitra Design Museum and our other partners to bring this extraordinary and important exhibition to the UK for the very first time.”

Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine at V&A Dundee will run from 2 November 2019 to 9 February 2020.