ED-209 Project

?Introducing Ed-209

 About this project

Every office needs 3 things: Art, a receptionist to welcome vistors, and security. The ED-209 Unit solves all of these issues. 
Originally designed and to patrol the streets of Old Detroit, the Enforcement Droid Model 209 was discontinued after a series of malfunctions and the uncovering of extreme corruption within the OCCP organization. As a result, the design and patents for ED-209 have lapsed into the public domain, making this the perfect side project for the young engineers and designers at Base22.  

The goal of this project is to gather the necessary designs, materials, and skills to build a life-size replica of the original ED-209 for the Monterrey office. It may take years to accomplish - but one day vistors can be greeted by the booming voice of our automated robot companion and new best friend. 

About Ed-209

Created by Phil Tippett (who also did the AT-AT walkers in Empire Strikes Back, Jabba the Hut, dragons, dinosaurs, the bugs in Star Ship Troopers, and just about every cool thing you have ever seen in a movie). The robot was created to be marketed and sold to police and military units as an enforcement droid but it has so many obvious flaws, redundancies and purely aesthetic features, that is it clear was designed by a committee that intended to market it based on looks alone.

From Robocop archives:

"Paul Verhoeven made it immediately clear that he didn't want anything on ED 209 to look cute," Designer Craig Davies elaborated. "He wanted something really hard and mean. Verhoeven had a really severe vision in mind for this thing. I myself already had a pretty strong idea of what a giant robot should look like, especially when it was a product of modern American design. To begin, I thought it wouldn't be designed to be wholly functional. First they'd design it to look neat and then they'd worry about making it work. In other words, these futuristic designers would pay a lot of attention to the cosmetics of it in an attempt to market the thing on looks alone -just like an American car."

"I took a lot of the current design trends into account and mixed them all together, adding things like oil coolers, radiators and heat exchangers, all of which are on that robot if you know where to look. Of course, the question of eyes came up, but I thought it was best to avoid them. Eyes have too much emotion in them, first of all; and secondly, robotic eyes have become a big cliché. So I got away from that idea. I did, however, include things that were my own digs at what I see as a really lame current corporate design policy. For instance, there are four huge hydraulic rams on the legs, even though a creature like ED wouldn't need nearly that many. So it's like complete redundancy - a true corporate product. Also there's the grill area in ED's head. Some people look at that and they go, 'Oh, it's a mouth. 'But it's also a big, obvious, extremely stupid place to put an open area like a radiator on a righting unit like ED 209. Through those kinds of things my feelings about the real Detroit come through on the robot."

Look and Feel

Making the robot able to change and hold different poses is preferable. But if we have to choose a primary pose, then one where it is slightly turned and one of the gun-arms pointing in a different direction like shown below - is better than straight on view.


At this point, no budget has been assigned to this project pending a complete cost breakdown and estimate. I expect we will have to do a large amount of work ourselves and it will be a labor of love. Hot, greasy, robot love.



  • Fiberglass with a steel or wood frame.

Several online sites offer direct access to machine tools for manufacturing platic and other material parts. This requires no interaction or assistance from a human. See http://www.emachineshop.com/

Office Locations

The new office space is still in design but construction has already begun. The location of the ED-209 is limited because of its size (7.5 feet tall x 8.5 feet long x 6.5 feet wide). There are only 3 possible locations in the new office.

Sound Effects

The sound effects for Robocop won an Oscar for Stephen Flick and John Pospisil. The most difficult sound effects challenge in "RoboCop" was to create believable and unique character sounds for Robo and ED-209. As is the case with any "signature" sound effect, we recorded, edited, and mixed numerous tests for each character. (http://hollywoodlostandfound.net/sound/robocop/)

"ED-209 changed from dangerous to comic every time he appeared. We made him sound like a time-lapse sound effect of the industrial revolution. Indeed, one of the primary components of his personality was a printing press. While he wheezed with ragged pneumatic air bursts, his legs squeaked courtesy linear screws from B-29 flaps. His footsteps were a Honda hatch door slam mixed with a footsteps in our library that we had created for a dinosaur. ED was leavened with comic and animal sounds. When he malfunctions in a demonstration, I cut a reversed inertia starter from a 1929 Travelair Biplane. This transformed the moment from ultra-violence to Grand Guignol. After Robo destroys ED, the leg assembly still works. It follows Robo for a few steps before it goes belly up. I cut some modern computer printer recycling sounds that had comic aspects for the jerky leg contractions."

"We made voice processing tests for both Robo and ED. After choosing a new DigiTech Stereo Chorus/Flanger we processed Robo on the dubbing stage. It was the only way to balance the amount of processing needed on his voice and maintain a "seamless" sounding dialogue track. ED-209's voice was pre-processed and delivered to the dub stage. We used a Harmonizer and a 2020 pitch shifter, then the tape was manipulated to give the effect that he was not working correctly. We also cut leopard growls during the chase and pig squeals when he falls down the stairs."


Spanish version of the boardroom scene:


Control Board

The control panel of ed-209 is a pushed into the board room and controls the robot. This could be used to turn the robot on and play sound files from speakers hidden in the robot.

Board functions:
 The primary purpose of the control panel will be to play sound effects.

  • Start
    • Play "Ed-209 Start up.mp3" once
    • Loop Ed-209 humming.mp3 till turned off
    • Play Speech file: "Enforcement Droid - Model 209 Activated. Combat systems could not be activated, please insert 50 caliber ammunition pack to continue."
  • Run Diagnostics
    • Play "Ed-209 Diagnostics.mp3" (TO-DO)
      • Scanning sounds and beeps
      • Speech: "Diagnostic Mode Activated. Warning! One or more systems has been deactivated due to system error. Please contact your local OCP dealer for support."
  • Detailed Diagnostics
    • Play "Ed-209 Detailed Diagnostics"
      • Scanning sounds and beeps
      • Speech: 
        • Detailed Diagnostics mode activated
        • Battle field operations mode - disabled;
        • Urban Pacification Mode - Disabled;
        • Home and Office Protection Mode - Enabled
        • Guest greeting and welcome features - online
        • Warning: Guest greeting and welcome features require 50 caliber ammunition pack to be installed and motion sensors to be enabled. Please see field operations manual for details.
        • Beeps and clicking (as its searches for ammunition packs)
        • Warning: Ammunition cartridges empty, combat systems have been deactivated - diagnostics test can not proceed without live ammunitions. 
        • Beeps and clicking (as its searches for ammunition packs)
        • Diagnostic mode ended: one or more systems has been deactivated due to system error. Please contact your local OCP supplier for support."
        • Shutting down.
  • Demo
    • Play "Ed-209 Demo mode"
        • TBD

Timeline and Activities

  • Design and planning - 2011
  • Construction - Spring 2012
  • Completion ... 

Functional Specifications

Although its principle function is to sit there and look menacing (the technical term is actually "bad ass"). The Base22 droid also should have the following features:

  • Ability to turn head
  • Ability to lock ammunition casings into a fire position and remove safety from guns
  • Hidden high watt speaker and sub woofer to project a number of threats and welcome messages such as:
    • Animalistic growl
    • "Welcome to Base22 - A representative will be with you shortly - refreshments are available in the human feeding and conditioning area. Please make yourself at home."
    • "Welcome to Base22 - an Enterprise Web Design and Development corporation. Our office is now closed - police and private security have been alerted to your presence."

Media Gallery