The Smartphone Robot

After a long hiatus I got back to good old Blender. A good occasion for this was the latest CGcookie Robot Contest. Therefore I’ve searched through my drawers for mechanical doodles I’ve collected over time, chosen the most interesting and end up creating this little scene:

A smartphone of the “zero” generation (ca. 1950s) meets his contemporary grandson….

A little real-life story behind this image. Since two years I am a member of a railway enthusiasts society which maintains a collection of old railway engines and equipment. One of our jewels is a 60-year old automatic telephone exchange, still in working order. However maintenance of this little beast is at least interesting (a room packed with noisy racks full of automatic switches and relays… and those vintage rotary phones). There are moments when one wish for a little helper which could squeeze in and clean for him those pesky, dust collecting switches. That’s how the idea for the robot has come.

Sorry there was no WIP thread. I will try to fix that by posting next time some images from the workflow (if any one will be interested).

As always, any comments and suggestions will be appreciated.


Here are the promised WIP images.
The project started as a doodles of a little automaton that would be a criss-cross between a crab and a vintage phone with rotary dial:

To get the idea imagine a child of this: and that:
So the modeling started. Robot’s model has plenty of parts, that are not visible in the final render:

Initially, I had a little idea for a final look of the whole scene. However, after one bad-cellphone day I’ve started playing around with one of test renders: came up with the final setup:

It required extra modeling of the handsets and a generic smartphone-thing. After texturing and light-and-camera setup the scene was rendered using BI (deliberately using the simplest settings, with skymap, without AO or Indirect lighting).

The final result is close to 100% of what I wanted to achieve. Let me know what do you think of it.


This really came out nice, and Kudos for a unique concept. I’m old enough that I remember, and have used, the old rotary phones… :slight_smile: