Check out this fascinating interview with designer Brian Anderson. Here’s a tiny sampling of the Formlabs interview:
PolyopticsLABs is a government organization that I do a lot of contract work with. They create advanced biologically-inspired exploration rovers. You know, checking out other planets and stuff. For the V.e.r.a.1 project they are using fox (Vulpes vulpes) DNA and combining it with high level operating systems and state of the art robotics to create this awesome fox robot. You can basically just launch off one of these V.e.r.a.1s to another planet and let it sniff around for you, while you sit back and monitor progress and set tactical goals. It’s probably the coolest thing I could ever imagine.
I was contracted to do the concept work, to help bring this little guy to life. I guess they didn’t want it to freak people out, so creating an appealing design was paramount for the project. I was able to go down to their headquarters and see progress as the prototype developed. Seeing it run around was totally mind blowing; I would swear it was completely natural. If only I had a few billion dollars I would definitely try and snag one of these guys!
I was able to talk them into creating some scale models to help promote the project and commemorate the launch of this unit. So I started working on them right away and built a bunch to show at NYCC. They all sold out in the first two days, before the weekend even started!
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