Terry L. Ernsberger Robots  
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Meet robot SPD-5X9 or as he his more affectionately known, "Speedy". As a first responder robot, he rushes to the scene of the action and quickly computes all the variables before the helper droids arrive. Speedy then guides and issues commands to all the other robots on how to best handle the situation. He's seen a bit of action in his day, and he has a long service life ahead of him – wherever danger calls.

Name: SPD-5X9 "SPEEDY"
Height: 23 inches (.57 meters)
Class: level one crisis responder
Model: SPD-series rescue mech
Manufacturer: Thorndine Automations



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  Behind the Scenes: The Making of Speedy      

Most of the elements that went in to building Speedy were found at the local salvage yard. A few of the pieces such as the round, gray plates pictured here had to be made by hand.

His shoulders are from an old engine, and the body is an old gas meter. His head was part of a chain saw.

  First test assembly.    

I was inspired by R2 D2 and the robots from the movie Silent Running.

I had to fabricate the plates in the shoulders to have something to bolt the legs onto. A bit of J-B Weld and everything held together wonderfully.


An old tire off a truck served very well as Speedy's shoes. I cut them out with a jig saw then finished them on a table grinder. Even though I did all the cutting outside, the smell of burning rubber wafted through my apartment for days.

The round, base parts used for his feet came from inside the part that I used for his shoulders, and the horizontal U-shaped pieces holding his feet to the vertical pipes were made from a sliding roof rack.

I mixed my own paint to match the dull yellow/orange that was already on some parts. Lids off of fruit juice bottles make great containers for mixing. Repurposing is the key to found object art even in the construction phase.

 It was a lot of fun distressing it to give Speedy a great used look.


More fabrication. I needed something cool looking to bolt the shocks onto the head. Rubbing alcohol works great to smooth out J-B Weld before it hardens. Some more of the paint I mixed up helped blend the new parts in very well with the rough look of the chain saw part I used for the head.


The vents were part of the interior of the gas meter used for the body, and the round part with "Speedy" on it was also part of the engine I used for the shoulders. That old engine sure was a great find!




Detail of Speedy's back.



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