Graduation

The Covid pandemic has affected all of our lives in many different ways. For students finishing university it has meant getting their names read out on a Youtube video in place of a proper graduation ceremony. We wanted to make sure our daughter didn’t miss out on this important milestone so we enlisted the help of some robomofos to take the place of her university’s dignitaries and present her with her well-earned degree.

Party-bot

I usually make my robomofos tabletop sized because most of my customers don’t have the space to display anything bigger. But I do like to make bigger ones and I enjoy how the scale affects the way people interact with them. So I’m delighted to have just sold a big, human-scale robomofo to a party venue in the West Country. His job  is to stand in front of the record decks and use his robo-powers to get people up and dancing.

Bio-Nano-Robo-Mofos

I decided on the name Robomofos for two reasons: Because the dot com domain name was available and I thought it was funny. Only afterwards did I decide mofo could stand for Made Of Found Objects. But I’m not the only person to come up with that name. Jonathan Berengut builds tiny nano robots, 2,000 times smaller than a human hair, out of synthetic dna and programmes them to link together like Lego bricks to form larger structures. They are called Bio-Nano-Robo-Mofos, But for him mofo stands for Modular Formation. Very cool and interesting.

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!