Like many moviegoers, I left the movie Interstellar fascinated by the unusual robots. Three were in the film, TARS, CASE and KIPP. According to the story the robots were reclaimed from the military, repurposed to assist with space exploration and given humanlike AI. Most interesting is their design which harkens back to the monolith of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Very inhuman in shape and movement, a definite departure from the standard anthropomorphic robots we know from cinema.
So my fascination led me to wonder how this robot design would work in the real world. Movement, appendages, etc. I started collecting information and designing a 3D model in SketchUp. Although I’m still searching for accurate dimensions I decided to make a best guess. The actor that was the voice for TARS and puppetter is 6 feet tall. Production personal commented that his head poked up above the robot prop, which had to be removed in post. So that gave me something to go on in terms of height and I built the rest on what looked right to the eye.
Now that I had a 3D model, I decided to take the obvious next step. Make and action figure! What I love most about 3D printing is working out how best to print the object. Should it be broken into parts to then be constructed after printing? What orientation will give me the most detailed print? How can I build articulation into the figure, etc.
The next post in this series will document the creation of the TARS action figure. Here is a preview:
Stay Tuned! I’ll also be posting updates in my Twitter feed and the RPF Thread linked below.
Here is a list of websites I used to gather information on the Interstellar robots.