Robot hobbyist and builder Mike Senna has spent the last two and a half years bringing to life what once existed only in the hearts of Pixar fans: a full-size and fully-functioning version of WALL-E.
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Senna, of Yorba Linda, Calif., had already built a working R2-D2 of Star Wars fame. He’d bring the robot to visit pediatric cancer patients, but after seeing WALL-E a few years back, decided he wanted to try creating something with more emotion, Yahoo! reports. There were the usual challenges, of course: determining an accurate scale, configuring the robotics, and so on. But he said attempting to build WALL-E came with a new type of pressure to get every detail perfect. When things got too stressful, Senna briefly called it quits before jumping back into the project. In early 2010, he began spending around 25 hours a week working on the robot, eventually logging between 3,200 and 3,800 hours in all.
Senna recently took the robot — who can move his head and wave his arms — to the City of Hope Pediatric Cancer Survivor’s Picnic in Los Angeles. Both the kids and the adults reacted positively to WALL-E, who can say his name just like the Pixar version. Though it was WALL-E’s first gig, Senna told Yahoo! he could tell the robot would be able to convey more emotion than R2-D2. For more information, visit Senna’s blog.
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