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Building Punk

A commission for Jason Bradbury. Jason wanted a model of one of the robot characters from his new book 'Dot Robot' that he could take on his 'Robot Roadshow' tour to help promote the book.

The robot, named 'Punk' is a steel plated sphere equipped with retractable and extendable spikes which contain various probes and accessories and which can be used to propel it when it rolls along the ground. It also has a set of retractable rotor blades.

The spikes were made in three parts - the extendable spike itself, the bulky base part into which the spike retracts and a collar where the base is mounted onto the robot's body. I tried to design it to suggest that the base section could also retract into the body. The master for the spike was made from nylon stock, while the collar and base were both made from wood. All were turned on a lathe. They were then extensively sanded and filled and moulded in silicone. A set of resin parts were cast. When making the resin parts, I embedded neodymium magnets into the bases and spikes allowing the spikes to be interchangeable.

The rotor blades were made from polystyrene sheet heat formed in the oven. The rotor hub was scratch built from plastic and PVC tubing, polystyrene sheet and steel rod capped with a lathe-turned nylon spike. All parts were then primed, sanded and finished using metalic lacquer.