Let's Make Robots!

The Eyes of Beholders

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.

Picture_63.jpg   3_Wheel_Still_002.jpg

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...":

Tank_bot_2_008.jpgThe 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?

Extra appreciation if:

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?



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Well, true words and I will do my best to create some unique robots with something else eye catching than wires ;-)

Even the most simple of objects or collections of objects can be pleasing if they are arranged in a pleasing ratio of height and width.  Google Sketchup(TM) even has a phi indicator when drawing a rectangle which shows up when the porportions are correct.

Check out ndupont's Disco Bot Challenge.

Meet Bickford, an old bot that made it to Ripleys. Bic shavers? 43 lbs of Bic shavers? (~20 kg)


I agree up to a point.  I reckon it's all good to have an experimental bot being as untidy as needed, since it's going to be torn up, rewired, etc. often.  And it's good to get that up on the site quickly to show what's been done.  Only if it's actually worthy of being pimped up with a sexy hemisphere of some go faster stripes will I go to the bother.  To be honest, I haven't reached that stage yet....  but I have replaced the jumper wires on my breadboard with nicely cut wires - much less hairy, and probably more understandable.

I've got to say though, much respect to anyone going to the effort to make their bot pretty - maybe a top ten pretty bots list, or even better - AmIAHotBotOrNot :-)  I should trademark it, but feel free to use it ;-)

 I just bought 6 sheets of yellow plastic in different thicknesses. I chose yellow, because I thought that would make it easy to spot at a glance what was body and what was mechanichal and electronic parts. Since my camera is pants I thought that was a great plan. Now you've made me realize all I'll ever make are eyesores. 

What if I draw smileys with a black marker on all the yellow surfaces, will that help?

No, I'm just complaining for the sake of complaining. I think everybody should try to think esthetic, but I totally understand the desire to "make it work". You have the nesescary part, why waste any more time. Just fire up the glue gun and make it run in 30 minutes. But once you have made one or two robots and tweaked them to optimum performance, I think most of us start to think about design in one way or the other.

/ vzz-clck-"Maneuver"

Here here. I love a good-looking robot, but I'm guilty of not devoting much effort to appearance in my own robots, aside from trying to be neat with my wiring (I can't stand when my wiring is all jumbled and unintelligible). It's been on my todo list to start putting more attention on aesthetics. I think a challenge is a good idea, although of course the robots would need to do something useful while also looking great :) IMO, anyway.