aesthetic robots

Hi all

I’ve seen and built a few robots, and I can tell you they’re ugly. But not all robots are ugly. How many robots have you seen that are eye catching or just built well and go easy on the eyes?

There is a long list of teams here that I could mention. I have always thought 33, 254, 341, 67, and 233 are tops in this category though. The machining, wiring, design and the marketing built into these robots by this group of teams is just always impressive. Now you are seeing more and more teams emulate the look of these robots.

1538, The Holy Cows, have really nice looking robots, from the wiring to the machining.

We too have produced some ugly bots. That said, this year we built one that I really like.

Please excuse the horizontal black bar. This is a pre-photoshop image.

It is not that difficult to plan for a “less ugly” robot.

Have a plan for mounting your electronics. For example, put your motor controllers all neatly in a line or a grid, orienting the same way. Run your cables in straight “streets and alleys”, bundling them up wherever you can. Hide them inside channel if you can do it. This will look pretty and help avoid the rat’s nest that is so difficult to debug (you know you’ve been there).

Use systematic wire colors (some of that is obvious, like red/black and green/yellow for CAN) but you can also sheath them in shrink wrap or flexible conduit tubing that is color coded.

When swiss-cheesing or making cutouts for wires or whatever, do a little measuring and make holes symmetrical, aligned, all the same size and spaced out evenly, instead of just drilling or cutting wherever.

Things that look good: symmetry, clean lines, clean angles, repetition of items with the same size and shape.

Also: mecanum wheels are ugly :wink:

1024, 5188, 1747, 1018, 3176, 3947, and 1741 had some pretty robots this year.

We generally produce “ugly” robots]( This year, we planned a bit more for some paint and decor, and I feel that it made our robota lot easier on the eyes.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder

  • Plato

There are a number of bots that are pretty and easy to look at. Nice to see so many teams sticking with their team color theme.

As a general trend I’ve noticed, California has a much higher density of aesthetically impressive robots than other parts of the country. Walking around the pits at Chezy Champs last year, powdercoating was more the standard than the exception.

I am a huge fan of 696’s design. Also 2590, 1640, 869, and 1218 from MAR.

696 nicely demonstrates just how underrated white finishes are.

1501 shows us that powder coating isn’t the only way to make your robot look smooth.

Let’s ignore coloring for a second and recognize 217’s engine turning that’s enough to add a little sparkle.

I think Baymax is our best-looking bot yet!

148’s robots always look nice to me. The fact that they manage to make their complex mechanics look as nice as they do and consistently stick to a color pattern is impressive.

my team had great looking robots this year and 2012. 4488 has made beautiful robots for the last two years. Holy Cows always look great, 624 had a great looking robot this year. 118, 254, 1114, and 1983 always make pretty robots (i’m a big fan of green powder coating). 148 makes beautiful Matte black powder coating, and 955 looked great this year too. my aesthetic is definitely powder coating and/or a lot of cool looking weigh reduction.

A lot of people view powdercoating, anodizing, or painting as the standard for an attractive robot but teams like 233, 254, 696, 1538, and 118 add quality and attention to the small details that really make their robots attractive.

233, 254/696/1538 with CNC’d or waterjet parts & careful attention to detail on how they route their wiring completed with nice lexan paneling. They see the product through to completion and it shows.

118 seems to outdo themselves each year with their unique designs coupled with throwing their team number/logo in as many places as they can. You also can’t beat that Nasa white and gold finish.

Teams like 2056 skip the color but still have beautiful machines by focusing on the quality of the product in every part they make.

Many teams push making the machine look good over getting it completed and performing which is a slippery tradeoff. Some teams overcome this by making the practice robot first while the competition robot gets colored and modified based on what they learn from their practice robot. Other teams (like some of the teams above and others) have integrated the coating process so well into their season that they can drop parts off in the morning and have them back that afternoon for assembly so it doesn’t slow them down. Every team does this program for various reasons but you need to ask yourself what is more important: making a beautiful robot or making a performing robot. It is possible you can do both but for most teams with lower resources or experience doing both is harder.

I’ve been a fan of 2826’s aesthetics the past few years. I really liked the industrial, bare metal look they had this year. IMO a robot’s performance on the field contributes to its aesthetics as well, and Wave definitely wasn’t lacking in that regard.

I’ll also contribute the obvious numbers one, one, and eight. They make some of my favorite looking robots year in and year out.

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Glad I decided to read before posting as this is my exact sentiment as well.

This year’s game resulted in a lot of box-shaped elevator robots, which tend to look pretty bland in my opinion. Pretty robots have curves.

1501 has made some of my favorites:

Here is a vote for #1595 Dragons. The robot looked great!!!

I would like to second this, 1595 had the best looking bot in the PNW. I could tell a lot of detail went into the little things.