Posts Tagged ‘Robot’

 

 

Summary

The scarcity of resources has driven bands of humans and robots to subsist by scrounging, and making deals. The self-replicating VonNeuman machines, robots who once performed tasks for man now guide themselves, gathering information, and controlling the world’s nearly exhausted resources. John Henry, a field mechanic/engineer, working¬†aboard the KRAWLR in the wasteland of the Uncanny Valley, discovers a singularity within a unique fembot. He believes this Gynoid with it’s evolving AI to be the key to changing the world.
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Drab Future is a sci-fi web-series. It is centered around an alternate timeline leading to dystopian society, with few alienated people left.

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If you haven’t already added Drab Future on Facebook, you should and spread the word on twitter and Facebook. Please re-tweet and share. We need to increase awareness. The more people we can tell about this the greater it will be!

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In Drab Future, The Von Neuman Moderators are the eyes and hands of the network. These agents exist to gather information and track resources, in order to expand the network and build more of them selves. While I could see that the power armored version could be a costume, I realized this character wouldn’t be able to be a person in a suit. Once the armor has been stripped away we need to be able to see their inhumanity.

Its long been a dream of mine to have a real, working, robot. I know a working autonomous bVon Neuman Moderator Animatronic Robot pt1iped with an AI is far out of my depth, but I want one that can be programmed to act in movies, run my booth at conventions, talk to people and hand out flyers. Even something like the animatronic band at Chuck E Cheese.

I have begun these videos as a behind the scenes for some of the construction. As usual I’m relying on as many found and prefab parts as I can to achieve the mechanical production look and move as quickly through the construction as I can. I’ve started with the Wowee toys Elvis Alive, which I was lucky enough to find on Ebay when a warehouse was liquidating their stock. For the body I’m starting with a posable mannequin which is similar in design to the wooden artist pose figures. This was given to me by a friend who was working in an art supply store. It had some minor damage and the store was cleaning out their storage and intended to throw it away. Truly a lucky score, I’ve never seen any others before or since. I’ve often thought about making molds from it to replicate more of them.

I’ve been planning on using the Wowee toys Elvis somewhat unmodified, at least electronically, because its really a great system. It uses a cartridge that contains songs and animation files. There is even a group of very clever folks doing some very cool hacks using them. I figured if I could avoid any major changes I wouldn’t need to teach myself arduino and robotic programming (yet) and follow along with this;
http://www.robocommunity.com/article/13840/Controlling-WowWee-s-Alive-Elvis-Part-2-Custom-Cartridge/

I even attempted to recruit someone to help me etch a custom circuit board part to make my own cartridge, unfortunately it never panned out. Basically this part is a xD media adapter to custom cartridge, which allows this ‘toy’ robot to play back animation files and mp3s.

This thread has a lot of detail about it, as well as included a diagram of the board I’d need to create;
http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/13761/Elvis-Cartridge-has-been-hacked-updated-Article-is-on-the-way/

Continued in part 2…
https://drabfuture.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/von-neuman-moderator-animatronic-robot-pt2/

The gynoid tries on the Witness mask #drabfuture

The Witness

All along I’ve been trying to make as much of The Witness wearable as possible. Parts such as the helmet/cowl and vest are removable from the puppet, as well as the leg pads.

More work on the Witness suit

That way for wide or long shots he could move around with a bit more agility without having to resort to stop motion or other puppetry for every shot he was in.

Witness mask #drabfuture

Since the head of the puppet is cast aluminum and too small to be wearable I was forced to create a secondary mask for the actor to wear.

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As the character and story evolved the costume version of the character took shape and evolved. I envisioned the witness as having different ‘modes’ and modular limbs, so he would be able to change form as needed. From his wheeled interior-workshop mode, to extended legs

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and finally his fully extended exterior form integrating inspiration from sources such as the land striders from Dark Crystal and the Wheelers from Return to Oz.

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I tried on The Witness costume in full last night at my workshop in Zero Friend’s warehouse in Oakland with the help of Kyle and Leslie. I’ve been working on the elements for this form separately for a while now, but it was exciting to see them all on at once.

Witness costume #drabfuture


full Flickr Gallery

Summary

The scarcity of resources has driven bands of humans and robots to subsist by scrounging, and making deals. The self-replicating VonNeuman machines, robots who once performed tasks for man now guide themselves, gathering information, and controlling the world’s nearly exhausted resources. John Henry, a field mechanic/engineer, working¬†aboard the KRAWLR in the wasteland of the Uncanny Valley, discovers a singularity within a unique fembot. He believes this Gynoid with it’s evolving AI to be the key to changing the world.
poster1_gynoid
Drab Future is a sci-fi web-series. It is centered around an alternate timeline leading to dystopian society, with few alienated people left. We are working on shooting a 10min pilot to begin the production and will continue to create episodes as quickly as we can. Once the world is established and the series continues I’d love to involve more artists to add to the world; to further populate it with their characters and add to the vision.

Bio

My name is Brad Isdrab, I’ve been sculpting and exhibiting my work in galleries since 2001 in various galleries from San Francisco to San Diego, New York and Pennsylvania. I create hand-cast and painted editions of my sculptures as well as produce short films and books.

I studied sculpture at the Academy of Art University and later turned my love of form into articulated puppets which could be brought to life through stop motion animation. My graduate work, Boris and Bianca, focused on interactivity and storytelling. Since 2006 he has been working full-time as a designer, producing motion graphics animation, and working in the visual effects and feature film industry for such companies as The Orphanage, Image Movers Digital, and Industrial Lights and Magic.

I’ve been creating the parts of this for years now, and only now have enough put together to be able to share it all with you.

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Why

This is going to happen. I want to make this world. This is simply what I must do. However, with your help I can create a lot more, and you’ll be enabling me to do it better. I’ve been working in a vacuum which is slow and difficult and its time to share it.

With your support I’ll be able to increase the scope.¬† The models and props I’ve built have been what I can manage in my studio. The studio itself I’ve built into an interior set. The purpose of this campaign is to take this out of the workshop and bring it into the world. I’d love to be able to create larger models, bigger mechs and robots, more intricate models.

For the full pilot I’m going to need access to a¬†need real locations, the wasteland, shipping yard, places where my actors can safely run around with prop airsoft guns without being arrested, which means I’m going to need permits and potentially insurance.

I’m planning to begin principal photography this July, which gives me only three months to finish all the models, costumes and secure the locations.

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How

I’ve been calling upon favors from friends from the industry, and have put together a core team of dedicated people for this project. It is a labor of love for us all. No one is getting paid, we just love to see this kind of film and believe in old-school practical effects.

I’ve been very fortunate for the people who have volunteered their time and skills for this project. I’m keeping the crew to a bare minimum and not getting too bogged down with job titles, we each have particular tool sets but also share the willingness to do what needs to be done on set to get the shot.

We are shooting this on a Red Epic, and Canon 60D, to record all the detail texture of this world. And I’m going to use as much practical effects work as possible, including; scale models, radio controlled animatronics, compressed air cannons, stop motion and more. All these disparate parts will be combined to populate the world.

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The way I work

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The script is written and storyboarded, and planned out. A big part of this project is the spirit of experimentation and always looking for better ways to do a given challenge. I want to involve you by working transparently. I’ll be posting work in progress and tests both successful and less than. One of the robot characters, ‘the Witness‘, is currently equipped with a webcam from which I’ve been streaming live while in the workshop. so you can share in the creation process.

Incentives

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Since I’m an artist and sculptor, I have been making use of my skills to produce unique incentives. I’m putting together a book of the artwork from this world. I’m casting resin figures,¬†hand-making dolls from the project, beginning with the basic doll of the Gynoid, which are my gift to donors, also everyone who purchases one of the dolls will have the opportunity if they choose, to customize it to be a part of a group art show.

I’m going to arrange a special screening for the cast crew and donors of the complete pilot in San Francisco. I’m also making a lot of other rewards available to donors; pez dispensers, magnets, pins, nerf guns,T-shirts, magnets…

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What you can do

At this stage I really need your help. I’ll be kicking this campaign off on Indiegogo soon, and in the mean time I need all of the feedback I can get. If you haven’t already added Drab Future on Facebook, you should and spread the word on twitter and facebook. Please re-tweet and share. We need to increase awareness. The more people we can tell about this the greater it will be!

Moderator Power armor

Posted: November 15, 2011 in costume, prop
Tags: , , ,

I’ve always wanted my own power armor. There is far too much inspiration here for me to list it all out.

Here is a gallery of inspiration and goodness

I‚Äôve been thinking of these guys as ‚ÄúMods‚ÄĚ, short for moderators. They are the Enforcers; remotely motivated Drones. This is the large Encounter suit, fitted with sensor arrays and used by VN units to extend their capacity with communication, recording and defensive capabilities.

I found the tactical helmet at an army surplus, the face-mask is a 3m respirator, placed on a hairstyle dummy head. I like the way they fit together, and it gave me a starting point.

I started assembling the suit on a mannequin torso, using a low temp thermo-form plastic mesh, to create a lightweight body shell to attach the armor plates to.

I managed to get ahold of some motorcycle parts and found myself thinking back to Robotech; the Cyclone bikes, which transformed into armor, yes please.

I used long bolts through the existing holes in the motorcycle body to space the plate away from the torso and position it, then used my heat gun to reform the plastic mesh to the plate as well as slightly warping the plate itself to conform to the torso.
 

 

I debated using them for awhile but I had these arm-pods I vacuum-formed while I was working at M-5, which fit in with the manufactured look of this suit;

 

 

With the mesh on the inside the chest plate was wearable,

 

 

Started painting and weathering the arm-pods to match the rest of the armor. I also added airsoft gloves, and chose the base for his side-arm The belt-fed nerf Vulcan;

 

 

A black jumpsuit and some tool belts to tie the ensemble together.

 

 

The suit still wasn’t feeling substantial enough. I wanted this to be really hulking. I ended up with the dashboard from a touring bike, like a Honda Goldwing. Really, a part like this has a ton of potential, so it took awhile to figure out exactly how it fit, but I kept coming back to shoulders and cowl.
 

 

The circles that help the gauges perfectly fit battery-operated LED tap lights. I secured it with some suspender straps and cut sections out to allow some arm movement while it rested on the shoulder.

 

 

The Chest plate was a tight fit so a bit more heat forming was needed;
 

 

At this point it was wearable, though not the most comfortable. But that is exactly the point of test-fits, to see how it needs adjustment to be wearable. I wanted to see how it’d look on a location. So we went out to the Hunter’s point Naval shipyard. This was the only shot I was able to get before the cops asked us to leave;

Watching this showed me a lot of places that needed work; the mid-torso, upper shoulder for comfort, the openings in the chest plate and shoulder rig, the legs…

The shoulders’ compartments looked too empty, such a large platform would definitely carry more equipment, sensor arrays, communications, I liked the way these Nerf guns fit, and their shape seemed to compliment the lines already ther;
 

 

I chopped the handles of the Shoulder pods so they would fit back into the compartment a bit more, and used I heat-form plastic to hold them in place. I also added rubber kneepads with foam inserts to the inside of the shoulder to make it more comfortable.

To better handle the mid-torso I picked up an airsoft Molle-style body armor, which adds a much better texture than the jumpsuit alone.

 

 

I started filling the chest openings with fans, lenses, and other parts to show more of it’s function as an I/O device.

 

 

My concerns now; armor for the legs since he looks a bit top heavy, the chest plate and shoulder should interlock for more stability, the gun needs more work, fill out the spaces in the chest plate, and generally make more function visible in the suit.

He still has a way to go before I’d consider him done, but this is a good document for his start.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bradisdrab/sets/72157619626227422/