Thursday, September 15, 2016

Yoshida mech

I recently had a fantastic experience visiting London for the first time and presenting a talk at Industry Workshops 2016. The event was incredible! Fun, well run, in a great part of the city, and filled with super rad and incredibly talented people. Among them was Anthony Yoshida, who had modelled one of my older robot designs as a project. He later sent me the model and I kicked out these quick keyshot renders.

As someone who works primarily in 2D, it's a real treat to get such a well modeled 3D version of your design, something you can play with in 3D and see how it looks from other angles and different lighting. And doing lots of pretty renders makes you feel like you're doing work!

Huge thanks for Anthony not only for this sweet model, but also for showing me some wild urban Paris while I was there. Cheers bro!


  1. Holy shit, that's awesome. I recognize that robot design; Elysium, right? Great design, plus has all of your design details to it. This model is awesome, and I'll definitely check out the rest of Anthony's stuff. I do want to ask a question, though: How does that optic work? Is it for targeting multiple people by giving a sort of large angle view via multiple cameras?

  2. Ohhhhhhhhhhh!!!! I need to take my time to absorb all the aspects of this one! xD

  3. As someone who's watched your site like a hawk for past couple of years for new art, this is quite slick. It's quite nice of Anthony to model that for you, and the overall design exemplifies why I enjoy your art so much- it's good-looking aesthetically, but makes sense from a practicality and engineering perspective.

    Plus, who doesn't like robots?

  4. Thanks guys!
    I do like robots. Somehow not sick of them yet.

    Hey Sdaerf, you tell me!
    Maybe the little holes have cameras with ultra high definition and a long focal length. They are all pieced together by software, like an insect's compound eye. The block on top of the head has an array of active radar, sound, and motion sensors.

    1. I like robots too, and I hope you never get tired of 'em because you've made some of the best robots I've seen in a long time, and I hope to see many more. As for an analysis of this design...

      Well, let's start off with an analysis of the style. You called it Informed Imagination a long while back, basing your designs off of functional real world systems, from the natural to the synthetic, and that shows obviously in the bipedal humanoid configuration, but also in the insect-inspired compound eye optic, a melding of military and nature. I read a blog post by Ben Mauro, a former co-worker of yours at Weta Workshop.

      In it, he detailed several guidelines you have: Stewart Platform hexapod structure for full X,Y,Z axis control of different limbs, exposed milled metal forms, tessellating stealth patterns to break up smooth shapes, NO glowing lights (especially not eyes), basis in military technology (helicopter optics, belt-feeds, army-safe stickers and markings), etc. etc..

      This design in its simplicity absolutely exemplifies all of those details. The optic pod is most certainly based upon vehicular sensor suites, the flat panels decorated by indentations and markings, innumerable exposed workings of pistons and servos, motors and wires, belts and actuators... And most importantly, not a glowing light on the whole damn thing.

      I'm also digging the personal touches from Anthony that I've noticed. Of course there's the camo pattern he added to the whole thing, which is a nice touch; but there's also very small details hidden within those patterns and pistons. The stomach is different. The original had some sort of power cell that seems like a digestive tract, this one has nothing of the sort, instead opting to showcase more of the complex machinery. There are also added handles on the shoulderblades, perhaps to be used for transport in some way. I can think of a few off the top of the domepiece.


      On the less stylistic side, the design of this is quite beautiful, in the that, say, the inner-workings of some advanced clockwork would be beautiful. A beauty of engineering.

      You mentioned in one of the pieces you did for Elysium -- I believe the one of Max's exo -- you mentioned how interesting pistons look compared to servomotors. I would tend to agree, though the practicality comparatively is something to take into account.

      As in that blog post, you attempted to justify the usage of pistons. Pistons driven by electric gears, as you said, so let's go with that.

      Power source is most likely nothing special, high-capacity battery or a fuel cell. Likely stronger than a human by a large margin. Faster too. Lighter? Probably not.

      If we're gonna get into some cool future stuff, perhaps its hull is made out of some advanced self-healing nanoceramics that allow for the negation of some small arms damage. CPU is some powerful carbon-based system, perhaps even a quantum mechanical processor for advanced algorithms.

      I could imagine there being some neat gear in that head of it. Advanced engineered meshes of sound detectors linked up to those slats on the side of its head, powerful miniature radar, passive IR motion sensors, maybe even some Doppler, millimeter, or Terahertz wave scans for penetrating material.

      Those high definition cameras could be made using some nano-engineered metalenses, glassless lenses that can see smaller than a photon. Could allow for some absolutely ridiculous surveillence of an area if it was guarding/breaching.

      Speaking of that, on the Weta Workshop website there appears to be some other variant of this robot alongside some other robots with multiple legs and arms? That version has a polymer lower mouth rather than the compound optic, and is less exposed, wearing pants, a police vest, sleeves, and some gloves, while also wielding what seems to be a Kriss Vector-type weapon.


      PS: You've got mail :)

  5. Will your talk be available on demand?

  6. The new generation of robots are able solve moral dilemmas if you don't know (following Code of Ethics) so the future is now... think about this.

  7. Hey Aaron, I have to ask you... xD, did you have anything to do with the new Call of Duty robot design ? I mean... look at the head of this one...

    That's your design, right ? or, well, maybe you've signed some NDA agreement and you can't tell, but it reaaally looks like your "futuristic-realistic-mechanical" style. Well, that arm style looks a lot like yours... xD i need to confess that I've been more interested in this game since I started being paranoid about you involved into the design. Here more pics to compare:

    PD: some time ago I tried modelling one of your designs, yet, it looks really bad...