The Collector

The Collector is a perfect example of a piece emerging from just playing around with parts. I had no vision at all of what I wanted to build when I started. In fact, I didn’t even have a robot in mind. His hands are the play and rewind buttons from a lovely vintage German-made reel-to-reel audio tape recorder. They reminded me of gorilla-like hands. So the bulky body, long arms, and short legs seemed like an appropriate choice. The face was a complete mystery until I found the little brassy buckle. I’m not sure where that came from.

3D render.

I knew I wanted to have it holding something in those grasping hands and the tiny wrench was a lucky find. Because of its adjustable arms and head, it was possible to pose it with a quizzical aspect. Suddenly I imagined it sorting through junk (much like I do) looking for something. That was when I knew it needed something in which to carry more items. I searched for parts to make a little cart, but decided a sort of backpack would be more compact.

The Collector is still available for sale at Argyle Fine Art in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

360 degree turntable video.
The Collector’s head and arms are adjustable.

Kyocera

Kyocera gets its name from the little metal badge on its chest which I removed from a vintage film camera. I like the idea that these robots have specialized appendages for very specific jobs, although I t’s rarely clear exactly what those jobs might be. My favourite aspect of Kyocera is its glass-domed head. It magnifies and refracts the light in a very pleasing way.

A better view of the glass dome.

V.I.N.C.E.

This is V.I.N.C.E. So called because the disc on top was spring loaded, so when you pushed it down and let it go, it would spring back up. This action was reminiscent of a kitchen appliance that was advertised by an overly-energetic pitchman named Vince. Anyway the Robot’s name was also an acronym for Very Intelligent something something, I forget now.

Constructing found object robots is very fun, but they seem to be less appreciated by others than my ray guns. Perhaps it’s because most of my robots are not so friendly looking. To my eye they seem quite goofy, but perhaps the claw hands and staring eyes are not endearing them to my audience. V.I.N.C.E. hung around Argyle Fine Art for ages and now he’s staring at me from a shelf as I write this.

Pixel art inspired by V.I.N.C.E.

Little Rockets

I have always liked the way rockets in classic sci-fi movies used vertical takeoff and landing. When I constructed these found object rockets I would never have guessed that we would see vertical landings in real life thanks to the efforts of SpaceX.

Put on your anaglyph 3D glasses!

These rockets are both accompanied by a tiny “maintenance robot”. My vision was that of a rocket landing on some distant outpost in the galaxy and a robot quickly rolling out to perform any required repairs or refuelling.

Photo by Argyle Fine Art
Photo by Argyle Fine Art.
The Maintenance Robots. Photos by Argyle Fine Art.

Matchbox Robots

Really? 2011?? It’s hard to believe these little junk robots were built for a show at Argyle Fine Art that long ago. These robots included boxes with artwork on the covers. I was inspired by the sometimes less than honest packaging of my youth.

The Mighty Galactic Destructo Robot came with a city skyline to threaten with its springy “angry arm action.” The Atomic Oracle has a blissfully grinning silver baby face behind a freely rotating optical lens. All the better to see and know all!

If you have anaglyph 3D glasses now is the time to put them on!
The Mighty Galactic Destructo Robot
The Mighty Galactic Destructo Robot. So scary!
The Atomic Oracle with 360 degree vision!

And, as usual, the folks at Argyle Fine Art took more reasonable photos:

Photo by Argyle Fine Art.
Photo by Argyle Fine Art.

Spoon Beetles!

 In 2015 I made a series of insects using old spoons, forks, and other small parts. Working at a this smaller scale was a very different experience as every tiny part has such a big impact on the over-all piece. A single screw or bolt on a ray gun can almost disappear, but on a small beetle it becomes a major feature. I  know one day I will be moved to make more pieces inspired by insects.

Photo by Argyle Fine Art.

I’m not exactly sure which ones were sold. Perhaps there are still some available from Argyle Fine Art.