Droid posed with all four tools in a forward position.

New developments! Each of our droid’s appendages are now outfitted with tools for dismantling enemy machines, and the descending disc includes a suction cup mechanism.

Another angle and different lighting.

Let’s take a quick look at the tools:

You just gotta’ have a saw. Each tool has an adjacent rudimentary eye (that’s the green dot). We’ll get to what the glowing orange orb is in a bit.

A pair of grippers, or pliers.

It has 3 retractable drill bits. The reason to have narrower ones, if you don’t have much experiene with drills, is often it’s preferable to make a small hole with a thinner bit before using a bigger one. Here we also just have back-up bits.

Wire cutters. Which can also be a nasty weapon, if needed, in some sort of machine combat.

The housing for the tools can rotate 360 degrees around the legs.

Same goes for the pliers… (below):

All the legs collapse onto the bottom of the droid:

Some may wonder why I put so much effort into the droid plausibly operating. Usually, artists don’t go that extra step. For example, in the Netflix version of War of the Words, the machines hardly make any sense, and the Martians themselves are worse. The martians have 3 legs that end in sharp spears. So, how do they operate their machinery? I guess it’s going to be telepathy. Once I caught onto that, it was really annoying. The Martians possess superior intelligence and technology, but they are parasitic brutes that spend all their time scampering around looking for humans to eat by sucking their insides out with a distendable proboscis. I would prefer that my creations aren’t immediately identifiable as insultingly ridiculous and impossible. Just one man’s preference.

And that brings up the sticky question of how the droid can walk — in a previous post I showed that it can even run — if its arms/legs end in tools.

The tools are affixed to the ends of the main appendages, but there are extendible tips so it can locomote on land or any large surface. The orange globule on the end is some sort of electromagnetic sticky mechanism that allows the droid to gain traction, so the legs don’t just slip from under it. It can also fire a pulse, and be used as a weapon, even when tucked under the ship, in which case they face full forward and backwards.

Below, the droid stands on extended tips of its legs.

and

The droid comes with a large magnet, coupled with a suction cup, to allow it to attach itself to a ship in motion.

and

I need to incorporate a gear on the base (above) so that the droid can rotate from the point of attachment.

The main purpose of this droid is to clamp onto larger machines, vessels, etc., in order to damage or disable them. It swoops in close and affixes itself, after which it’s very difficult for whatever it has landed on to fight it off. If it lands on a large vessel with fighter ships, for example, the fighters can’t fire on it without risking hitting their own home vessel.

Below you can see how it would work:

and

The droid would likely lower itself closer to its target.

I just used a flat plane to illustrate a surface. Presumably our droid lands near some wires, pipes, vents, windows, panels, or whatever fixtures or mechanisms.


Some process pics

It all gets a bit technical, especially because I’m making the model posable and animatable. Really a lot can go wrong, and I find myself doing the old two steps forward, and if I’m lucky only three back shuffle. Above, I’ve just hidden the main body of the ship to be able to select other parts more easily. But it looks like a model kit.

Above, without the body, it looks like an animated Big Mac from McDonald’s commercials I saw in childhood. Maybe I shouldn’t have pointed that out. Once seen, it can’t be unseen. Just a bit of humor at my own expense, it looks quite different with the main body included.

Above, I can move the legs wherever I want, and will have to in order to make room for the propulsion system at the rear of the droid. Yup, there’s still some design to do before I move on to the materials stage. I’ve got ideas for the sides of the main body, may include two or more lights, aft weapons, antennae and sensors… But the most difficult parts were always going to be the legs with the tools, and that’s done and rigged.

I think it’s about to run again, which I wouldn’t think was possible initially.

Don’t touch that dial!

~ Eric Wayne

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2 replies on “Droid Update: Tools

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