This weeks Lines Of Work theme was to redesign Robocop, inspired by the so-far unimpressive looking redesign photographed by paps at the shooting of the new Robocop reboot movie. This proved harder than I imagined at first, as it was difficult to modernise Robo without straying too far from his original, iconic design. My thoughts on the reboot design that there was not enough silver (in fact there was none) and while I reduced quite a lot of it in my own, it’s still there, and it really helps identify who he is I think.
There’s a lot in this design I DIDN’T include, as it was just taking far too long, and I have other things to work on – it’s strange though, once my brain got going on it I couldn’t seem to stop! Some parts were harder to get right than others – the shoulder pads for example, still don’t sit quite right to my eye. The wheels were hard too, but I’m pleased with how they came out – lots of mechanical men (and women) in the sci-fi world have little wheels that pop out of their feet (Iron-Man had them at one point) but rather than give him roller blades I wanted his legs to transform into ACTUAL wheels – I think they work quite well – they certainly make him look more nimble.
Anyway, as I said, I could go into way more depth on the design, so I’ll feature a little ‘Interview with the designer’ – which is of course, me – to fill in any gaps…
Thoughts from the designer, Dr Chris Saunders
The challenge with the new Robocop model was to create that balance between performance and personality, function and friendliness – the approachability of an automaton. The reason the original Robocop design was more popular as an law enforcement device, as opposed to the ED-209 for example, was not only that it was better designed (in my opinion) but also because of it’s human element – people could relate to it on a very basic level, it’s one patch of human skin showing on it’s jaw bridging that gap between cold hard steel and comforting human flesh. People trusted it, people got behind it – after some time it was even accepted into the Detroit Police force as an equal (although of course, it was far superior) and it was this likability factor I was encouraged to develop (after all, who wants to buy a product nobody likes?).
My first move was to create a more accessible face for the Robocop 2.1 design – his helmet now swings up to reveal a handsome face with minimal cybernetic enhancements to the actual face itself, and even a crop of hair on the front, top-half of his head (polls revealed that most people found the originals bald, stretched skin creepy) – this makes Robocop instantly more approachable and less menacing should say, someone simply want to ask for directions, or a sweet of granny wanting to report the theft of her handbag, or even a comforting look/reassuring smile for the crying rape victim (of course, if they were wearing my OCP funded, patent pending Chastity Belt 3000 it wouldn’t be an issue). he problem with having flesh on show however is that it’s vulnerable to explosives. fire and stray bullets, so the design features a series of retractible face plates for protection. The head also features a blue stripe and gold DPD shield as a nod to it’s fellow human police officers – it’s the little touches.
Another thing we did to keep this element of human interaction/acceptance was to include more of the original host’s personality in the Robocop 2.1’s system memory – this is made up of carefully selected memories, and desires/motivations revealed through the subjects initial psychiatric evalution, all vetted and approved my OCP – so that he is now able to laugh, so disgust, make jokes. In fact, more of his original digestive system was left in tact, so that he is now able to eat actual solids (again, polls indicated that the public feel police officers should be seen to eat doughnuts/hot-dogs – it’s just an image thing) and even ‘share a brew with the boys’ after a hard days patrol. Of course, alcohol and other solids are not processed in the same way as in human, and aside from a few essential vitamins and nutrients are broken in liquid waste, and passed through a new disposal unit located at the groin, developed by my associate Dr Win Ang. It was discovered that doing basic human things such as eating, drinking and going to the toilet not only help it to be accepted by it’s human co-workers, it also helps the mentality of the host itself – the process to cybernetic enhancement can be quite stressful on the brain, it’s amazing how much comfort it can take in the simple pleasures.
The Robocop 2.1 is modular in design, and many parts of it can be easily switched out and replaced if they are damaged, or if a larger, heavier weapon is needed – for example, at the moment we have a replacement left-arm unit that features a collapsable tri-pod and locking unit that houses a massive 50 caliber machine gun, with an ammunition pack that fits on the back of the Robocop 2.1 unit itself (not available in the standard pack). My proudest feature of the design are the wheels that can be activated for Pursuit Mode, but again they can be switched out into something that maybe more suitable (we are currently working on an aquatic prototype for the military know at the moment as ‘Roboseal’, but a similar device will probably be made available for the Robocop series). It also features OCP’s multi-purpose grenades, which can work as the standard grenade by holding the red button down on the top, and activating a 5 second timer that with explode when it is thrown/released. By clicking this button multiple time before it is held down, you can extend the timer by 5 second with each click. The explosive core at the bottom of the design can be removed, leaving a stun grenade that can be adapted into a smoke grenade by pulling back the timer section and allowing the phosphorus gas to escape before detonation. The explosive core meanwhile has a magnetic strip on the back, allowing it to be attached to another grenade for double the power, or for the entire grenade to become a mine, that can only be detonated by the Robocop 2.1 unit at a time of his choosing, at a distance up to 5 miles away!
The new Robocop is a human-friendly device able to patrol tirelessly, and cover almost any emergency a precinct might encounter. It’s amour and weapons make ideal for riot control, but it’s added ultraviolet enhancements enable it to investigate forensic police work too. It is tough, and our team are ready to repair any damages that might occur, and at the end of the day, unlike human police officers, it is expendable – why send a guy with a wife and two kids in to diffuse a bomb, when you can send the Robocop 2.1?
Dr Chris Saunders, PHD
Chief Scientist at OCP Robotics and Cybernetics division, OCP Headquarters, Detroit
And now a word from our sponser….
The Robocop 2.1 unit is available for pre-order now from OCP.com at only $1,499,999! That’s cheaper than a Race car! With it you get the Robocop unit, recharging station and a team of experts into your station to maintain the unit/repair any damages. If you order now, you can get 20% off our Flightpack extra (usually a further $500,000).
Alternatively, if you’re after something larger, with more powerful weapons as standard, why not check out the new QUADROPED-209 at the OCP online store now!
OCP – Building a better Future for Everyone*
*this does not include the destitute, the mentally unstable or the uncultured.