The Eyes of Beholders
October 11, 2008
Many, if not all, bots on LMR are a joy to study. But only few of them are "pleasing to the eyes".
As I did a quick survey of all 200 robot pages, I found that less than 10% are built with beauty as a noticeable design parameter. Most bots here are shamelessly exposing their construction and wiring. No attempt was made to pimp up these machines.
Typical Techie behavior? I am asking you!
Of course, beauty is a highly subjective matter. And nobody joined LMR in hopes of meeting a very sexy robot. But a little effort makes a lot of difference. Might I redirect your atention to some examples...
To find out what I am talking about, check out the difference between the following two similar projects. Similar in functionality that is.
Compare: Vince's Kaboodle with Chris' Taildragger.
They are performing pretty much the same, but that is not what I am considering today. I am only looking at the surface. I am being sooo shallow right now! The little hat, the neat wiring and the coordinated colors make all the difference. Vince also avoided the awful cliché of the UltraSonic eyes. Only by covering them up, but still. Obviously he put some thought into the visual design. Vince added sex appeal to all the fascinating technical stuff that both these bots have in oodles.
BTW, Chris posted an interesting looker as well. Look at the aptly named "Ok, This one is pretty good...":
The black boxes, Star Trek Nacelles and Siamese Twin heads make for an interesting picture. And he added video! Movement always doubles the entertainment value of any project page. (I would assign bonus points for that A-team tune he mentioned, but I don't hear that anywhere.)
So what makes for a pleasing robot or robot page on LMR? In my, obviously subjective, opinion?
- Any effort was noticeably made to design anything better looking than just the technical build. Even if only by a tiny visual detail, like mounting a tea brewing implement or gluing on plastic cups for hands.
Extra appreciation if:
- Wiring is not obnoxiously drawing all the beholder's attention (it is not a rat's nest on wheels).
- Photo quality is great. Bonus for moving pictures.
- Consistent use of colors.
So what do you all think?! How important is it for an LMR bot to look great? Does is matter at all? Does a cool looking bot inspire you? More so than other bots would? What kind of features do you find pleasing? How do your eyes affect your beholding?
And: is it time yet to organise a challenge? A beauty pageant for bots?