Rover Robots

: Hansel and Gretel


The backstory of two robots

In the story the main character, currently named Sarah, finds one of two rover robots who has been put on Planet Zapffe in advance from earth to scan for life. They have reported to no life until now, except plants. Both the rover robots have recently lost energy, and hasn’t been recording anything back for a while. The movie starts with Sarah finding one of them lying on the ground in a rocky area.. The robot is seemingly broken and/or ran out of energy.

There were two rover robots, cheesily referenced to by someone in the highs seats of the rocket science department as Hansel and Gretel, a symbolism obviously meant as a H-C Andersen-reference. Supposedly symbolizing the journey of a boy and a girl robot exploring dangerous new terrain, perhaps discovering “an evil witch”(unknown life). Sarah always found the symbolism intensly stupid. As the story begins she has found one of robots, but not the other one. She doesn’t know if the one she found was Hansel or Gretel. She doesn’t care either, but she will look out for the other one.

My inspiration was the Viper Droids from Star Wars(for some reason, maybe because they have a similar search-role), but I didn’t want a combat robot.. the other inspiration/referance was some of the normal robots NASA puts on the planet… but obviously I wanted a design that was something of its own.

Stein-Christian is the brave designer of the rover robots. This is his first draft.

It looked like a cute ladybug.
Its difficult to know what you’re after at first. He then did quite a few variations.


All of these are really cool in their own way, but some of them got a very old homemade feel. Almost like something you would see in a Kjell Aukrust(Flåklypa and so on) story, or some weird invention some crazy scientist has done with old found stuff in his garage. As we are in 70 years in the future, and this is supposed to be a bit more state-of-the-art technology we needed something more modern. So Stein-Christian tried to make it look more like something NASA or similiar would design.

Then it really started to take form. I liked this a lot.
We also discussed what energy it would run on, and it seemed plausible that solar energy would be something they would do in the future for something like this. As its reneawble, and the robots would be able to walk around much longer that way.

So we put on some solar panel on the back. So what has happened to the robot is that the solar panel has broken, and it walked a distance until it eventually ran out of energy. Which marked the place where it stopped, and where the story starts.

The solar panel on this one made it look bit too much like a fly. So we changed it.

Tried some other solar panels…

This looks better.

We then started to speculate is hands and fingers would be the ideal thing for a robot like this to have. We thought maybe one hand could have some kind of swiss army knife, with lots of potential tools inside. We also thought about the difference between the two robots, Hansel and Gretel, and if they may have done some subtle differences to make them look different. Some parts of them are different in blue/red we thought, and there’s also a number (1 and 2). The one-world-flag was also added on the robot, like on the astronautsuit.

Still undecided about the hands with fingers, or if he should have tools. Or one of both.
This one has some kind of drill. I kind of like the hands though, and it must not look too much like a combat droid.

This is the current version geometrical Stein-Christian made.
Good work indeed!

Stein-Christian then tried to draw the position it would be found in. How would it lay on the ground when it was found? I kind of wanted some kind of iconic look.

The solar resource panel is supposed to  have been broken, and it has walked a while with its last energy and reserveenergy, and it has fallen and shut down. There might also be some additional damages indicating it has crashed into something. A rock, or maybe it has fallen down a cliff, or something else.

Latest version. Somehow I prefered the thinner arms.

We then decided that it has one hand and one arm with a toolbox, which is malfunctioned and sprung out when the astronaut finds it. Here’s some suggestion on how it could look.

This is the final arm with gadgets.

And here’s the end result.

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