Looking for advice, project eventually

i want to make a robot. a cute little one, kind of like Bandar’s
because his is so cool! i’ve never done characters, armatures, anything, so i have literally no idea where to even begin. any of you wonderful people who know things, maybe you can help get me started? i like cute little robots, and i’m hoping for low-poly enough that i can actually render/animate it. thx in advance for the help!

I would recommend robot parts to have axis´s at the points where they bend. And to use forward kinematics. So a very simple way, but
even this is not very simple when you do more than a walk syckle.

But some cases why armatures would be better choise:
If you want to pre do the limits how much each moving part can rotate.
If you want to use ik target, that a hand for example follows an empty
and then animating of empty would move the hole hand, or even all but
the “shoes”.
If the robot has a flexiple materials.
Most importantly, you would be able to use action editor.

First you need an idea what the robot should look like in general. Best thing is to make some sketches on a paper. This is very important!
If you want to make a humanoid robot look at your own body. Even if your robot is not very humanlike, if any proportions look odd or wrong and you dont know why, look at the human proportions, it usually helps.

Next, you should think about, is the mechanics of the robot. Where are joints, pivots, gears, etc.? That’s important, because you should try to model every part in a way that it is aligned with the xyz axis, otherwise the aligning with the bones will be a real pain in the ass. I’d use armatures since the more moving parts a robot has, the more interesting it looks (at least for me). The even if you plan only a model for posing and not animation, it will be faster with an armature. With the new bone restrictions a robot is easier to rig, since you can lock axes (thanks for that!). So with inverted kinematics you can make a puppet that moves almost like a real robot.

Then you can either use your sketch as a reference and start to model right away or you make a rough model with boxes and metaballs first (if your robot has round organic looking parts). That’s the way I did it. It’s a bit different to see shapes in 3D, right. So better check the proportions in 3D first. If you skip this step and find out that the body is too short after modeling for one week, you’ll be pretty annoyed changing it once more. It’s easier to make a quick rough model and tune the proportions first.When you’re happy with the proportions you can start to model the parts.

I started with the head, then a spine, legs, torso, feet, arms, energyfields and the hands came last.

I did the armature parallel with the body in order to test the model imediately (like: “is the upper leg touching the hip if i bend it 90 degree along the x axis?”).