Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Last Man on Earth Builds Himself a Friend

From: Geelong Advertiser
"Deakin's junkyard robot hits big screen"
" IT'S the end of the world as you know it. You're the last person on Earth so you decide to build a robot companion from scrap.
It's not such a far-fetched idea for Deakin University robotics teacher Ben Horan.
The Waurn Ponds PhD student and robotics lecturer was recently enlisted to make a working robot for the upcoming film Lone to premiere at Melbourne's Federation Square tomorrow.
And after five weeks Shoey was the result.
Mr Horan followed artistic sketches from what the robot should look like and used his robotics expertise to make it tilt, twist, glow, grab and spin.
After the PhD student finished building Shoey, prop designer Jeremy Shaw, who worked on the Lord of the Rings,  finished the robot's cosmetics
Mr Horan said his creation starred alongside a character struggling to deal with being alone.
``It's about the last guy on Earth and he's in a junkyard searching for the parts to make a satellite dish,'' he said.
``He comes across a metal head, he twists a few screwdrivers and spanners and builds this robot.''
The film screens tomorrow at Melbourne's Australian Centre for the Moving Image."
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