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News for the ‘design’ Category

Real Life Functional AT-AT Walker

AUSTRALIA’S status as the world capital of Big Things is under attack.

In February, the citizens of Detroit successfully lobbied for a giant statue of RoboCop to keep its crims in line.

In the same week, news broke that a three-metre tall Arnold Schwarzenegger statue will stand guard outside the Governator’s former home in Thal, Austria.

Both of which kick Robertson’s giant poo-tato and Ballina’s prawn to the kerb when it comes to cool icons for your country.

And now you can add — possibly, unless George Lucas hears of it — a lifesize, fully-functioning replica of a Galactic Empire AT-AT walker to the countryside somewhere in Oklahoma, if Mike Koehler gets his way.

Note fully-functioning — not like that static tat at Disneyland’s Hollywood theme park.

The 16m tall (some nerds experts put them at 23m) All Terrain Armoured Transports featured most famously in the attack on the Rebel forces’ secret base on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back, where one tripped over a bit of rope and exploded.

Another one makes a cameo in Return of the Jedi after a smaller version — an AT-ST — gets smashed by monkeys with logs.

But they look fearsome enough and Mr Koehler has been given the green light by online fundraiser Kickstarter to begin collecting cash to realise his dream.

It’s called AT-AT for America and Mr Koehler’s welcoming any offers of help or donations.

We chatted to him about why his country needs it…

Why did you choose a symbol of the Empire’s destructive capabilities to represent the US?

The AT-AT is not so much a representation of the US as it is a monument to what geek culture and its know-how has done for people in the country and, as I am quickly learning, folks all over the world. The can-do and cooperative spirit that nerdy pop culture has inspired can’t be overlooked in the past 30, 40, 50 years.

I wanted to make something that was: A) Doable. Fast-than-light and force field technology made many options unrealistic. B) Big enough to be awe-inspiring. Many people have made R2 units and Back to the Future Deloreans. The AT-AT is 50-feet tall.

If it proves too difficult, do you have any smaller scale Star Wars projects in mind?

I guess we could do one of the smaller scout walkers, but that seems like copping out.

If it proves easy, would you consider building a Death Star?

The Death Star would involve too much red tape I’m afraid, unless I could get Richard Branson on board.

The original AT-ATs had some notable design flaws. How will you Ewok-proof it?

No Ewoks will be allowed around the build sites. Sharpened logs will also be strictly prohibited. We are working towards some strong anti-log technology.

Have you had any interest from Mythbusters et al?

No word yet from the Mythbusters, though I hope as we continue to build momentum that we will get a lot of help from some of our geek heroes. When I first thought of this, my ideal project managers were Adam and Jamie.

If Detroit can get a RoboCop statue, maybe you should pitch your AT-AT for a permanent public space…

Once we’re done, I would like for the AT-AT to find some place nice to be housed and admired as a monument. Since it will be fully operational, people will be able to ride it. It would be an art piece on par with the Statue of Liberty, but with the ability to mosey around the block.

Have you had any cease and desist orders from George Lucas yet?

We have not heard from Lucasfilm yet, though there is that expectation. All I can say is that we won’t be making any money off this project, we consider it a public work of art and we would gladly locate it where ever Mr Lucas would like us to. This is a testament to how many dreams his work and other work like his has inspired in people my age and younger.

Will you live in it once it’s finished?

No, I won’t live in it.

Can I?

You can’t live inside it, though you are welcome to string a hammock between its knees.

Is there ever a chance that such a monolithic, relentless corporate machine could ever be seen in Australia?

Given enough support and volunteers, the AT-AT, like Oprah, would be happy to visit Australia.

 

Related Coverage

Global Cell Phone Scam, for Tech Geeks

Ever notice smart phones tend to lag before disconnection? Ever notice how much screwing around it takes to hang up on a caller if you’re using your hands free kit and have the phone in your pocket? It’s usually easier to let them hang up than scramble for your phone, home key, swipe, key in your pin, home key, tap the call, tap end call (in the case of iPhones) right? Well I got to wondering, just why do modern smart phones, even when you DO hang up, take so long to drop the connection? I figure it’s big money.

Let’s assume you don’t roll over into a new 30 second block, and merely pay per second, and let’s give it a really conservative estimate of 1 cent per second. The average time to drop carrier for my iPhone 3G’s and my iPhone 3GS is between 6-8 seconds. There are over 4.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world. Let’s assume that all of these lag 6 seconds for efficacy of fact. That’s $240,000,000 in phone fees just from one design flaw coming out of every mobile phone owners pocket.

Let’s go one step further and assume that each phone makes one call per business day of the week, that’s $1.2 billion per week. I guess designing flaws in your technology is big business, because you know there’d be kick backs. Let’s not even count in the money makers of voice mail, or other scammy crap. $62.4 BILLION per annum, and remember these are conservative estimates.

Got ADAM? Amazing Little Sister Bioshock Prop!

I’ve been linked by a few people to some pics floating about of a Big Brother suit that some prop guy made, but recently came across this little wonder, also made by the same guy and included in the photo shoots of the Big Brother suit with his girlfriend playing the Little Sister weilding this: –

Got ADAM?

The creator, Harrison Krix, is a ‘graphic designer’ yet seems to be making a tidy profit doing commission work producing props. Including a bloody awesome Daft Punk helmet amongst other things.

Click here to check out the blow by blow of the ADAM bottle and synringe prop.

Posted: May 4th, 2010
Categories: design, gadget, game reviews, games, oddities, pop culture, reviews, technology
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iPhone 4G Prototype Rumours & Photos

Photos of Apple’s new iPhone have been leaked on the internet by technology news website Engadget.

Engadget claims someone left an iPhone 4G on the floor of a bar in San Jose.

The website said the phone was hidden inside an iPhone 3G case and featured a front-facing camera, 80Gb of storage and a new operating system.

The discovery was quickly branded a fake, as similar pictures had surfaced weeks earlier that turned out to be Japanese or Chinese mock-ups.

But then Engadget followed up their news with another surprise discovery – they claimed they had unwittingly had a photo of the new iPhone 4G sitting in their office “for months”.

Not one, but two apparently new iPhones were discovered in a picture leaked the night before the iPad was officially revealed, overlooked in all the excitement surrounding Apple’s latest release.

The blurred image seemed to show one “4G” sitting on the iPad itself and the corner of another showing just out of shot.

The iPhone on the iPad has an aluminium case, revisiting the design of the first iPhone in June 2007.

Engadget said a source had since confirmed to them that the device was the new iPhone.

The source said the new camera would be higher-res and have a flash, while the 4G’s screen would also be higher-res and the phone would take a MicroSIM card.

Photos leaked on Twitpic back in February show a new button on the side of the phone which may confirm the rumours of the MicroSIM card addition, but Apple is claiming the photos have been faked, despite their similarity to the mysterious iPhone seen sitting on the iPad in Engadget’s photo.

The new iPhone is expected to be unveiled on June 22, after Apple recently booked the Yerba Buena Centre in San Francisco for that date.

The last event Apple held at the Yerba Buena Centre was the iPad launch.

Posted: April 19th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, design, lifestyle, piracy, pop culture, technology
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Reactive Space Table




Reactive Space Table

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

I used to work for a certain government department that shared a site with a few random types of businesses, one of which was a small rental by a company called Marblo. This company produces ‘marblonite’, or snazzy looking glowing translucent surfaces you see in chic and overpriced nightclubs. I clearly remember my first encounter with it in the raw, a glowing space age looking plank jutting vertically from a plastic blow moulded footing advertising the company, and the sting when I touched it inappropriately and grabbed the metal tabs that were hooked up to the mains.

This appears to be of a similar nature, however it functions as a reactive surface. It was developed as part of an investigation into ‘reactive space,’ and is a pressure sensitive surface which starts to glow with the slightest touch. Be it objects being placed on it, or hand prints, et cetera

It’s definitely snazzy, I’d say it’s replay value would be low though, but it’s definitely a fun step into open creativity as far as the thought of it being used in bars or clubs, depending on how long it remains glowing it’d be interesting to see what creativity is unleashed by drunks. 😛

Deceloped by KLOSS, it’s only 2 cm’s thick and powered by 12V and is apparently completely waterproof. They promise that they’ll be available commercially for use as an architectural component within the retail and leisure industry in the very near future.

Click here for more on KLOSS and this little hypercolour gone mad invention.

Posted: December 1st, 2009
Categories: design, gadget
Tags: , , , ,
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