If you are fortunate to be able to access the Discovery Center Museum before May 6 you can visit Robots: The Interactive Exhibition in Rockford, IL. Based on the 2005 movie of the same name, you can meet Rodney Copperbottom and his Rustie friends and build a robotic probe on a touchscreen monitor. There are also exhibits like MIT's Leonardo and C3PO. Tickets are $4.00/person in addition to $7.00 general admission, $3.00/person for groups (in addition to group admission to the museum) and $2.00/person for members.
If you can remember as far back as the 60s, then you will appreciate film director Bryan Barber's acquiring the rights to the cartoon Gigantor. Here's a refresher if you don't. A young lad's father creates a huge robot as a flying weapon but the boy bonds with it and uses it in peaceful ways.
Barber tracked the rights to an aging Fred Ladd, who owned the Japanese language cartoon and adapted it for English speakers. Considering that the run of Transformer movies are never-ending and with the recent big bucks from Real Steel, Barber may have a hit on his hands. He says the live action film will be "Transformers meets Goonies."
There is a lot of news coming out of Comic-Con 2011, not the least of which is the announcement that Atlas Entertainment's plans to create a live action feature film based on Voltron. Not many details beyond who is involved with the project are out yet, although the plot seems to concern 5 "young" pilots who do battle with the anime robot lions.
Just when you thought you were safe from a futuristic horde of creatures in evil robot suits in the Australian desert, The Time Guardian appears. The 1987 film features Dean Stockwell and a very young and fresh Carrie Fisher. "It is not just our fate that lies in peril but that of all humanity."Star Wars" it ain't but if you like your sci-fi with a touch of morality, this is a good rainy day flick.
On the other hand, if you like your movies current and animated, Megamind is finally out on DVD. Lots of evil pet robots running around, robotic suits and a very cutesy Minion. Not the best of its kind over the last few years (with movie references intended for adults) but still, Will Farrel is in his element. (We love the way he pronounces "Metrocity" with an accent on the second syllable.)
The well-intentioned Imagination Station has raised $50,000 to build and install a Robocop statue in Roosevelt Park in Detroit. This came after a rogue tweet to Mayor Dave Bing that suggested the superbot would make a great representative of the Motor City. The Mayor claims that there are no plans in the works to build it but we shall see.
Local comics creator Ron Marz felt that the money could be used more effectively and set up the Twitter hash tag #robocharity to raise money to Forgotten Harvest, an org. that helps feed the less fortunate in Detroit. Because of Marz' efforts and caring Michigandars, Forgotten Harvest reported donations are already enough for 10,000 meals. Considering that a single dollar provides 5 meals, we think this is a very good thing. If you would like to contribute or volunteer, hit the link.
Although "Real Steel" is not scheduled to come out before October 7, 2011, trailers are still being released by DreamWorks. Sugar Ray Leonard served as advisor for the boxing scenes. Look for the finished product to be shown in IMAX and regular theaters when it finally arrives.
This is a quick edit (~8 seconds so don't blink) that notices the same red hue in a Droid ad, the TV series Caprica and one of our fave movie villains. You might say that the current generation of bots go back to the same roots. Hmmm.
Add a literal touch of 1968's
"2001: A Space Odyssey" with a HAL decal that you can affix to your MacBoom, including older black and white models. Made of Avery Brand vinyl, both a one size fits all decal as well as specific sizes are available for $15.00. Expendable Decals promises shipment within 2 business days of cleared payment.
Greg Clark, the actor who played agent Phil Coulson in the movie Iron Man, took the latest Raytheon XOS-powered Exoskeleton for a test drive. Engineer Rex Jameson claims that the robotic suit is more fluid and stronger than the first, no matter how much weight is placed upon it. It will be used for carrying heavy weights by the military and disaster rescue teams. Power consumption is reduced by 50% now and eventually they are hoping for an additional 20% when it becomes untethered.
India has produced a movie with dance-off movin' robots. Entitled "Robots," of course, it comes out of Kollywood in the Kodambakkam district located in Chennai, a city in the state of Tamil Nadu. We guess the country is finally into CGI mode.
JJ Abrams will be making a new film based on the story "Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel," written by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. Produced through his Bad Robot company, the graphic novel follows the world's first robot as it wanders through the 19th and 20th centuries. The idea to bring it to the screen was originally pitched on a website about 11 years ago and was apparently so convincing that some thought the robot was real.
Inspired by the film "Back to The Future II," Blake Bevin combined a shoe and Arduino microcontroller to create Power Laces (technically only one.) When he steps in the shoe, a force sensor activates servo motors to tighten its laces. He included a touch switch to reverse the process. Blake is an entry in Instructable's USB contest and would appreciate votes from Marty McFly fans.
R2-D2 is indeed blowing off steam but not because he is teed off at C3PO. This minute version is an actual humidifier. Remove his head, pour water into his body and plug into your USB port to clear those clogged sinuses. Officially licensed, he can be yours for $19.99.