The first part of my robot design task was to research other robots and find things I liked about them. I chose Atlas and P-Body from Portal 2, the Mechon from Xenoblade Chronicles, the Beamos and the Armos from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Baymax from Big Hero 6.
I first talked about Atlas and P-Body from Portal 2. Atlas and P-Body use their eyes for expression a lot. They uses their eyes along communicate feelings and expressions, for example when they are scared, their pupil shrinks, and when they laugh they squint and their pupil roll back. They also display different traits, for example P-body is fidgety and bobs around a lot, where as Atlas stays quite still and grounded. They interact like best friends, with gestures such as high fives and rock paper scissors. I am mostly inspired by the emotion that these robots convey, and their charm and character.
I then researched the Mechon from Xenoblade Chronicles. The Mechon have a metallic look to them. They vary in size in shape, some being big and chunky like Gold Face (left), and others being slimmer like Metal Face (bottom right). All Mechon share certain design features, such as the gold plates. What I like best about the Mechon is that they all resemble animals, for example there are a lot of enemies that resemble bees and wasps, and spiders. I am inspired by the way they created robots that look like insects, because that is a scary look, and hits home on a lot of phobias.
I then looked at some of the enemies from the Legend of Zelda franchise, most specifically Skyward Sword’s Armos and Beamos. Skyward Sword has the best examples of robotic enemies. These examples include enemies such as Beamos and Armos in the Lanayru Mining facility, that only work when you use the turn back time mechanic to time travel the affected room thousands of years into the past. The Beamos has an eye at the top that shoots lasers at Link, and to stop it you have to horizontal slash the blue sections to destroy each layer, then stab it in the eye. The Armos jumps towards you and hits you with the spikes on the front, and to kill it you have to rotate the magnets on it’s head, which opens up the weak spot for attack. What really inspires me about these enemies is the way that you don’t just hit them to kill them, you need to use skill and logic to open a weak spot or break them down to your level, and also the colours and design looks cool.
Lastly, I looked at Baymax from Big Hero 6. Baymax is a healthcare companion robot who usually looks soft and cuddly. He has a friendly personality and expresses most of his emotion through his eyes and his mannerisms. He also gets modified with a special chip that allows him to fly and fight. Hiro adds techniques from karate and tai-chi to make Baymax able to fight, and build a suit that allows Baymax to fly, which also has magnetic pads that Hiro can climb on so that they can fly around together. Baymax can also be used as a flotation device, and can heat up to emit warmth. Baymax inspires me because he is friendly and manages to convey lots of emotion, and I like that his purpose is to heal, not to attack, because Baymax was only able to attack when Hiro modified him to, and under normal circumstances would never do harm to a human.
My next step is to design some concept thumbnails for my own robot. I’m thinking I’m going to experiment with making a healing robot, because that would be a difficult enemy to kill, and could work as a support type if it was a team fighting game. I’m also going to experiment with enemies that hide their weak spots, like the Armos and Beamos from Skyward Sword.