Early in July, I had the distinct honor of visiting Advocates for Inclusion and conducting a workshop with their group on creating their very first prototypes of robots. I must say, I had a blast and enjoyed meeting everyone and watching so much innate creativity come to life. A great inventor once said, “All you need to invent is an imagination and a pile of junk.” So I brought the junk (cast of pieces of projects, recycled items, failed 3D prints, etc.) and these participants arrived with their limitless imaginations.
The main message I wanted to give that day was inspired by Wall-E, that cute robot hoarder that collects junk and saves it for future purposes. In many ways he is one of my favorite heroes. He doesn’t have any superpowers, giant guns, massive intelligence or any other things most heroes in stories are equipped with nowadays. In fact, Wall-E’s major heroic quality is simply that he is good, and cares about others. That is something that I believe we all share, though it might not be evident sometimes in everyday real-life situations. As makers and builders, I believe that we put a bit of soul into everything we create (if you don’t, you’re doing it wrong) and that we can put that piece, that charming “goodness” into our very own Wall-E inspired junkyard robots.
I am super proud of this group. They were all committed and enthusiastic about not only tackling the challenge of building their first robotic prototype sculpture, but creating a piece that was just as unique and special as they were.
Below you will find a gallery of their unique creations in various stages of completion.