Tubelets and Knorbs
"We don't know if they are hostile, or simply unaware of us."
Tubelets and Knorbs are a race of robotics beings of unknown origin. Seeming mainly to be random amalgamations of obsolete and outdated electronic hardware that have somehow gained semi-sentience and autonomy, they manage to replicate with exasperating ease. They were first sighted in the first manned expeditions to Mars, and have disrupted many human missions to colonize the planet. Whether or not Tubelets sense or at least consider constructive communication with other species or forms of intelligence as peers, except to mine new materials for replication, is debatable. Further study is considered at an arms length by all known space programs, due to the propensity of some types of Tubelets or Knorbs to take on an aggressive or predatory stature when procuring new resource.
OK seriously... Tubelets and Knorbs are my race of DIY/found art game tokens used in a tabletop science game I've invented with our local Raising Makers program at Reuseum Ed. The game itself is called Interplanetary Exploration and follows on lots of DIY gaming ethic to make a game where you make rules, game boards, pieces to play with... and we learn about science and astronomy! (Without pointing out that we are having a blast and learning at the same time. ;) )
The premise of our game is that the players' have all been sent to Mars on missions of colonization, but catastrophe befalls the brave scientists and they all crash-land on the surface of Mars. The goal to win the game is to traverse Mars, avoiding pitfalls and various (psuedo) plausible challenges, to get to your colony landing site with the necessary tools to sustain life on another planet.
Our plans right now are to incorporate a real robot to program and drive across the terrain semi autonomously, sensing color and other hidden features of the game board to further upgrade the gameplay to truly be a novel activity. For now, our little robotics sculptures and game tokens are totally fun, and serve quite well, even with just adding a throwie onto it.
More on the evolution of our game soon, but for now more information is posted on Reuseum Educational.