Where do old train transformers drop their tusks and go to die? Well, they never really do. Hopefully the old parts find their way to a place like Lipson Robotics. I know that this is a bit off topic, however when I see something this cool and this amazing, my gut tells me to talk about it.
I saw these robots when I was goofing around with Etsy. Etsy is an online store that represents artists and craftsmen from all over the world. It's a virtual store that has many items that can run the gambit of your imagination (at reasonable prices) as well as many more sophisticated and expensive pieces of art. Etsy is a great forum for artists that don't necessarily want to go to galleries and need world wide representation without breaking the bank.
As I was browsing around and looking for stuff that I like (trains, robots, toys) I came across Lipson Robotics. Lipson Robotics is run and owned by David Lipson. I started looking at these robots and I couldn't stop! They are made out of items from yesteryear, culled from many junk shops, flea markets and street vendors in New York City. Testing apparatus, old radios, old clamps, old cameras and tons of other "old stuff" make up a Lipson Robot, including old toy train transformers.
Here's where the art comes in: the way they are assembled is ingenious. All of the parts flow, they look like they were meant to be together. The robot really looks like there was some kind of intelligent organism or living thing that went out and pulled all of the parts together organically. These parts look like they were created to be together; that's what makes these robots an artistic creation. By the way, these aren't tiny little robots either, they average (in height) from 17 to 25 inches tall.
Fortunately for me Lipson Robotics is a New York City based endeavor. I'm in New York City several times a week, so seeing these wasn't a stretch. They are currently at a gallery in Manhattan called "Animazing".
Truthfully, these robots don't cost much more than some of the trains we buy from China (like a Brute or 400E) and they are completely made 100% right here in the good old US of A. They aren't toys and are not made for a 5 year old to be played with. They are truly art, sculpture and each is completely unique. Once you see these things in person, I guarantee it will be hard to get them out of your mind. I'm contemplating one on my train layout (I'm trying to figure out how to get it in). Lipson Robotics recently published a wonderful book on many of the robots they have produced, I believe it sold out however it will go into a second printing shortly.
Yes, I know this is off topic but believe me, if you like the stuff us prewar tinplaters like, this is right up our alley.... These robots only represent a small sampling of the great work Lipson Robotics does. Hit the link up top to go to the website. -Marc
One last thing: putting these robots together, getting them properly photographed and documented is extremely time consuming and (dare I say) expensive. Please don't use any of these pictures or this info without speaking with Lipson Robotics first. PS Let me apologize for the formatting. Blogger is just a pain with getting the formatting correct.