Recently, we interviewed Prosthesis Founder and SOLIDWORKS user, Jonathan Tippett (read the interview here). The discussion focused on Tippett’s desire to create an interactive human-machine experience. The result is the Prosthesis Project – a 7,500 pound, 15-foot tall, electric-powered, human-controlled quadripedal racing robot. To put it in even cooler terms, Tippett and his team are creating an “anti-robot.”
Named Prosthesis, the “anti-robot” is a machine reliant on a human pilot’s physical and mental skill to function. It’s not anti-technology or anti-automation. The “anti-robot” concept is really about man and machine working as one.
During our conversation, Tippett shed some light on his own inspirations for the project, which included many nods to popular science fiction. Naturally, we had to discuss which anti-robots from the big and small screen influenced Prosthesis.
- Power Loader, Aliens: “The Power Loader was the first and most significant inspiration,” Tippett stated. “The machine starts with a skilled operator, which is essential to what we’re doing with the Prosthesis.”
- Mech Prawn, District 9: “This was a massive power suit,” Tippett said. “I love its scale.”
- Jaegers, Pacific Rim: “I found these machines to be affirming to the Prosthesis design if not inspiring,” said Tippett. “Pacific Rim’s drift concept also highlighted the burden of effort required to control something that is so much greater than yourself. It did a great job popularizing an element of the Prosthesis ‘anti-robot’ narrative.”
- Robot Jox: “In this movie, a post-Cold War world has evolved into a point where there’s no armed conflict. Instead giant, human-piloted robots called Robot Jox engage in gladiator-style fights to the death,” Tippett stated. “Again, human athleticism and skill alongside tools and tricks determine the outcome.”
- AMP suit, Avatar: “The AMP suit is a cool depiction of human amplification,” Tippett said. “Technologically, you can be super human with it. Of course I’m not as much a fan for what it’s used for in the film, but the machine itself is awesome.”