Fan Mail

Fan mail is not a big feature of my life. I certainly  don’t anticipate the need to hire a secretary to open, and reply to, a continuous supply of letters of adulation. In fact I’ve never received any fan mail of any kind ever. But a couple of years ago a young artist was inspired to produce a robomofo drawing which she presented to me as a gift before loosing interest and getting on with the rest of her life.

Self Portrait

I was feeling a bit stressed this morning planning a long road trip south. I had just one robohead to finish off but before I knew it turned in to a self-portrait. Some claim the Mona Lisa is a secret self portrait so I’m in good company!

Logo

People sometimes ask me how I came up with the robomofos logo, well here’s the story. The body of one of my early robots was a little switch box with a very cool electric shock warning sign rivetted to it. I liked it so much that I decided to make it the basis for the robomofos logo. Some robomofos have a similar logo badge on them and others don’t — it just depends on what looks good. But all robomofos have an aluminium authentication plate to show the serial number and date of manufacture.

Inspiration

I was really impressed by these amazing robohands made by the very talented Brian Marshall of Adobtabot. So I’m keeping a look out for the same type of vintage brake levers on the old bikes dumped at my local skips. Soon I should have enough to make a pair of my own so the hands on my next robomofo will be my homage to Brian’s work.

R80 MFO

The latest news is that I’ve now got a private number plate for the robomofomobile. Several years ago I actually bid £2,000 at a DVLA auction for the registration plate RO13 ERT. In fact I know when it was, it must have been 2013 because the number was just being released. If I had won the auction it would have been a few years before I could even afford a car new enough to put it on. But there must have been other, richer and arguably more foolish Roberts bidding in that auction because in the end it sold for a whopping £37,000 so that was the end of that. But with my robot business taking off I thought it might be fun to look again at what was available and I found R80 MFO for £167 — that’s more within my price range and hopefully will help promote my business.

Jamie Jardine

I’ve just discovered the amazing robot paintings of Jamie M K Jardine. The dramatic lighting and fluid brushstrokes remind me a lot of Goya’s black paintings. This is one of my favourites: “Robots making (or destroying) robots”. If I could make robots to make robots I could retire. Trouble is it would only be a matter of time before they realised they didn’t need me, or any other human for that matter, and we’d have a full scale roboapocalype on our hands.

A bonfire day

A lot of the metal objects I find are coated with coloured paint and branding. Occasionally I keep the paint on but to achieve a more unified and characteristic look I mostly strip the paint to reveal the metal undersurface. Sometimes I use paint stripper or a wire wheel in my grinder to remove the paint but the quickest and easiest way is to burn it off in a bonfire. It was dry and not too windy today so I took the opportunity to make a fire. Don’t worry, those gas cylinders didn’t explode; I drilled the valves to let out any remaining gas before I chucked them on!

3 years of robomofos!

Today is my third roboversary! It was exactly three years ago that I decided to make my first robot. I can’t remember where I first saw it, but I was originally inspired by the work of New Zealand artist Martin Horsepool. Then, after a google image search of “robot sculpture, junk, found objects” etc etc, I realised that there were quite a few artist across the world making robots out of junk and I wanted to be one of them. So I went into my shed which, by accident rather than design, was already full of unwanted junk and gathered some bits together and made my first robot. He’s clearly less sophisticated than my latest creations but I hope you will agree he has just as much charm and personality.

Camping Companion

People often tell me how their robomofo has become “part of the family”. I’ve just been sent this photo by Bridget from South Devon who is so attached to her robot that she has taken him with her on a camping holiday. “He’s less demanding than my children ever were and certainly no less useful”.

Talos

Do you know the Greek legend of Talos, the giant bronze robot whose job it was to protect Crete from invaders? In the days before electronics, microchips and A.I. he was brought to life by a magical substance called ichor which circulated through his body and could be topped up by removing a plug on the back of his heel, just like the filler cap on a car. So if you want your robomofo to help around the house or walk the dog all you need is a pint of ichor and a funnel and away you go. When foreign ships approached the Cretan coastline, Talos would throw boulders at them and if that failed to deter them, he would jump into a fire until he was red hot and deploy his deathly embrace, crushing and burning his enemies simultaneously. But Talos finally met his end when Jason (of the golden fleece legend) wanted to land on Crete for supplies. He had a witch on board called Medea who, with a bit of trickery, was able to remove the plug on Talos’s heel and syphon out his Ikor. I can’t help thinking he could have been brought back to life by a refill, but I’m no expert. Here’s how Talos was depicted in the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts.