Mini-Coopers: Robots in Disguise!

by alphamonkey on April 10, 2004 · 4 comments

in Sci-Tech

I’m pretty sure we’re all somewhat familiar with the characters below:

Those are, of course, the Autobots from the Transformers toy and cartoon series.

But are you familiar with this?

Meet the Bipedal Robot, R50RD. He’s the brainchild of one Dr. Colin Mayhew, an engineer who (according to the project website) worked on both the original 60’s model Mini and the new BMW version.  He’s taken his engineering knowledge and his paticularly keen insight on the Mini Coop and built a gawdamn ROBOT. It’s not a transformer (*sigh) as far as I can tell from the page, but Mayhew does have a jump seat design on this schematics page.

Now, the first time I looked at this site (and the picture above), I admit I was more than a little skeptical. After all, it’s not hard to play with Photoshop (as my high school diploma proves).  But then I watched these….

The ‘damn..that’s handy!’ Arm Dexterity Test

The kinda creepy in a ‘this robot is totally going to kill me’ way Light Test

The 20 foot tall unstoppable killing machine stopping a gawdamn speeding LAND ROVER

Now…..I don’t know what to think. It could be a hoax. God knows the damn ‘Net is filled with ‘em. (Remember that totally fucked up “President George W. Bush” hoax..that scared the shit out of me….oh…wait. *sigh*) The video is grainy, there’s a hell of a lot of could be one smoking edit. Maybe it’s a viral marketing campaign for some Transformers movie….But part of me thinks/hopes/fears that this is totally legit.  I qualify that thought that way because I have a love/hate thing with our futuristic robot bretheren. I’m all for them doing dangerous and hazardous duties that would kill any human being, but I’m against their staunch ‘kill all humans’ philosophy. Though a robot monkey would be pretty kick-ass once I taught it that my thigh wasn’t a chew toy.

Anway…you decide: The Real Deal or Elaborate Hoax? 

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  • Shadow Stalker

    I’m going to go on a limb and say it’s CG.  It’s just the feeling I get when I watch it move.  The movement is a little too smooth; the shading is a little too even; the shadows aren’t quite consistent.

    When it stops the car, the front goes down just like a car braking.  When the wheels decelerate the car body tries to keep moving forward, but the shocks hold the body to the axles and it tips forward.  If something were to stop the body it wouldn’t tip like that.

    Why does it have a tether?  It’s powered by an onboard internal combustion engine, and it’s controlled by a wireless connection.

    I think it’s just viral advertising for the Mini.

    Check this thread on Slashdot, especially this comment.


  • djn

    Definitely had me convinced, but looks like this has already been “outed” in a few places..


    And slashdot:

    Quick Summary:  Turns out “Dr. Mayhew’s” internet domain (“”) is registered to a london Television/Commercial post-production company.  Most are speculating it’s “stealth advertising” directly from MINI – perhaps with ties to the upcoming Transformers movie.

  • Shadow Stalker

    So did my huge comment get trashed or what?

  • .alphamonkey.

    Way to kill the dream, guys. Way to kill the dream.  angry

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