Recycled R³bots Rule
By Justin Davis. March 1, 2013, 4:30 PM CDT
Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot from Mystery Science Theater 3000. K-9 from Doctor Who. Marvin the Paranoid Android from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Fiction is full of robots that charm us, whether it’s from their unique designs or their witty dialogue or their programmed personalities. For myriad and often debated reasons, robots hold a special place in fictional cultures that’s impossible to shake loose (they represent ourselves, they make us question the meaning of life, they show us our own faults and promise, they help guide the real world’s technological evolution, they make us laugh, they _____). Creators, both of the tangible and intangible kind, construct some of the most appealing and memorable robots out of a mixture of ideas from the past, present, and future. That exact idea is what led product and toy designer Marco Fernandes to create R³bots.
The R³bots project began as an idea for a stop-motion short movie and has transformed into real-life, blinking, articulated, and simple metal masterpiece.
H.E.L.P.eR from The Venture Bros. WALL-E. BMO (Beemo) from Adventure Time with Finn and Jake.
Portugal-based Fernandes begins with a fully-fleshed (or in this literal case, fleshless) idea for a robot’s personality that then later is given life with the piece-by-piece creation of its Frankensteined body of spare parts.
While developing the creative process, the use of recycled parts and components of electronic items (DVD players, stereo players, computers, motherboards, lighters, old toys, etc.) has become fundamental in defining the initial concept of this project.
The animation has led to the construction and development of robots that at this point assumes a strong image and defined posture as objects. Each one is unique and built in a very fluid process without any draft whatsoever or character study.
All of them comes with a customized display, also built from recycled parts (jars, plastic boxes, old lamps, drives,etc.).
R2-D2 from Star Wars. Kryten from Red Dwarf. Clank from Ratchet & Clank.
Each robot that Fernandes builds exhibits distinct designs, and many somehow manage to show hints of curiosity, anger, or even melancholy. The ability to instill a sense of softness in these metal and wire structures is impressive. R³bots range from four to seven inches and are for sale on the artist’s website.
About Justin Davis
Justin Davis is one of the co-founders of Techcitement and acts as the editor-in-chief for the site, which is ironic because he's likely the least tech savvy/aware person here. He also wrote a monthly restaurant review column for The A.V. Club Austin from 2010 to 2011, and he regularly performs in and directs improv theater. That means he's ready for anything. Yes, even that.