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  1. RPF Premium Member Timtastic's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2014
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    New Orleans, LA
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    52
    Nov 8, 2014, 12:30 AM - Interstellar TARS build #1

    Evening, y'all!

    I recently watched Christopher Nolan's new picture "Interstellar" with friends and was blown away! Everything from the story, to the effects, to the soundtrack and the massive amount of effort by the crew was just amazing, I highly recommend giving it a view.

    As a long time lurker and new member here on the RPF, I've been looking for a project to really get behind; some prop or costume that fulfilled a couple of requirements for me as a new prop maker:

    - I'd like to learn more about material fabrication, beyond the basic carpentry skills I've already accumulated. Painting/Weathering, Robotics, Arduino/Raspberry Pi programming and integration would be awesome to experiment with.
    - I'd need to set deadlines in order to keep focused on the project, but I don't want to be rushed to finish it in time for any sort of theme specific event (Comicon/DragonCon, etc)
    - I'm a big sci-fi fan, so I'd love to fabricate something within that world

    I felt that this was a pretty easy set of rules for me to follow that would ensure I didn't get into too much trouble, and would keep me happily learning as much as I could out of a build. After watching Interstellar, I believe I've found that the TARS Robot seems like a good candidate.

    Without giving any spoilers, the TARS is a background character, and is essentially a big rectangular machine that assists the main players in their mission by providing control over crafts, helping on the surface, and running systems. The design of the bot is what really captured my attention. It's very simplistic, it is segmented into smaller rectangles that act as arms which extend and fold around to perform tasks...it was designed as and looks like a tool, but these bots (there are other models) have a personality that the crew can interact with.

    Anyway, I've begun gathering info on the TARS, and drawn up some initial blueprints based on what I've found, with the hopes of building a scale model, woodshedding, then building a real one. I realize this may be a long process, but after wanting to build props for over a year and watching you guys create the most amazing stuff, I've finally got one that just been stuck in my head since I saw the flick, so I'll give it a go.
  2. RPF Premium Member Timtastic's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2014
    From
    New Orleans, LA
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    52
    Nov 8, 2014, 12:42 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #2

    Here are some quick Google search reference pics, and the blueprints that I've made based on what I remember from the film and the trailers on YouTube.
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  3. Member Since
    Aug 2014
    From
    Barrie
    Messages
    49
    Nov 10, 2014, 3:56 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #3

    I'm right with you on building one! The display wouldn't be hard to hook up, the real challenge is creating a full metal one that is light enough to function (move)
  4. Member Since
    Mar 2013
    From
    Germany
    Messages
    63
    Nov 10, 2014, 5:13 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #4

    Man, great ! Wachted Interstellar (love that film) and one of my first thoughts was: I have to build one of this awesome robots !
    Good luck with yours
  5. RPF Premium Member Timtastic's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2014
    From
    New Orleans, LA
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    52
    Nov 10, 2014, 6:05 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #5

    Awesome Blast! I was thinking about making mine out of 1/8" ply or maybe foam...still working on blueprints, then I plan on banging out some quick models of different materials.

    Ratbone, thanks! Glad to see someone else saw the potential in these guys!
  6. Member Since
    Aug 2003
    From
    Derbyshire, United Kingdom
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    175
    Nov 10, 2014, 7:20 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #6

    Can't wait to see the movie, the robot caught my eye in the trailers before I even really knew what it was.
    Wandering off-topic maybe slightly, I think it's interesting that 'his' name is spelled out in Braille but the dots aren't really raised. Is there any purpose to that other than maybe a point of interest or an excuse to break up the surface a little?
  7. RPF Premium Member Timtastic's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2014
    From
    New Orleans, LA
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    52
    Nov 10, 2014, 11:13 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #7

    I noticed that as well. I imagine that because of its purpose, the TARS may have had those markings as a coding system or model number.
  8. RPF Premium Member Timtastic's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2014
    From
    New Orleans, LA
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    Nov 10, 2014, 11:18 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #8

    Here's a recent article where Director Christopher Nolan discusses the TARS, and a video I've found showing the movement of the TARS using footage from the trailers.

    Article: http://m.news-journalonline.com/arti...ut-his-robots-

    Video: Study of Movement:: TARS: http://youtu.be/x_3q2HQD-js
  9. Member Since
    Aug 2014
    From
    Barrie
    Messages
    49
    Nov 11, 2014, 10:53 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #9

    Great video! I'll be watching this project with great interest!
  10. MrSinistar's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
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    Nov 21, 2014, 4:30 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #10

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The font for TARS, CASE and KIPP's logos is Trade Gothic. The bottom, of course is Braille.





    Here's a really cool article showing great close up pics of the props and how Bill Irwin operated them.

    http://www.wired.com/2014/11/interstellar-droids
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  11. steveng's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Virginia, USA
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    Nov 21, 2014, 4:33 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #11

    These robots have fascinated me as well. After seeing Interstellar I have been working on a 3D model of TARS using SketchUp Make. My goal is to at least print a 3D model of the robot and use magnets for the rotating joints. If time permits, I'd like to build a full scale model in some fashion. My measurements are rough, basing the height to be just under Bill Irwin's 6'. Production commented that the top of his head could be seen behind the robot and had to be edited out. If you are interested in the SketchUp model, drop me a line.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. joshvanrad's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2013
    From
    MN, United States
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    Nov 21, 2014, 4:50 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #12

    Holy wow! If you build a lifesize TARS my life will be 100% complete.
  13. RPF Premium Member MastahBlastah's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2014
    From
    USA
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    355
    Nov 24, 2014, 1:59 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #13

    I've been obsessed with TARS (from a design standpoint, and as a character) since I saw the film ... I believe it's important to note that his name is "TARS" ... he is not "The TARS", as his highly human demeanor (despite his very simplistic, yet awesome appearance) is a key component of his character. These GIFS should help you further understand some of the ways in which he moves. I did not create these ...

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/5afd21f8...31upo2_400.gif

    https://38.media.tumblr.com/a69111f1...31upo1_400.gif

    Also, an interesting side note, one of the other robots of the same model, KIPP, is presumably named after Kip Thorne, the theoretical physicist who collaborated with Nolan to write the screenplay, and who's scientific theories are the basis for many of the concepts in the film.
    Last edited by MastahBlastah; Nov 24, 2014 at 2:21 AM.
  14. RPF Premium Member Timtastic's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2014
    From
    New Orleans, LA
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    52
    Nov 24, 2014, 2:29 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #14

    Wow, great information you guys! I'll finally have some down time during the holiday to put some work in.

    steveng, what are your dimensions for each leg?

    MastahBlastah, good note on the name. Also, these gifs are exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

    I've watched the film again since my last post and had trouble figuring out some movements that TARS makes, namely walking and the tilting action when in 'console mode'.

    It would seem difficult to make 4 square legs of equal length move forward and backward without the bottom surfaces catching on the ground.

    On the tilting action it would also seem there'd be a clearance issue; as TARS tilts his top half up.

    Any thoughts? I've gotten pretty slammed at work as of late, but I like the idea of this thread becoming a sort of catch-all for TARS ideas
  15. RPF Premium Member TheNickFox's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2010
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    4,085
    Nov 24, 2014, 3:10 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #15

    My assumption was that the smaller "fingers" of his outer sections slightly extended under him to change his lg length by an inch or two to accomplish the walking we saw. It's the only thing that made sense to my mind within the confines of the movie's reality.

    And since the difference would be so small and entirely underneath him, we wouldn't be able to see it from our vantage points.

    -Nick
  16. ae35unit's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2012
    Messages
    82
    Nov 24, 2014, 4:12 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #16

    Very curious to see how this unfolds. I also loved TARS. Fantastic robot. When you first see him he looks so clunky, then when he bolts into action -- wow!
  17. Superglued fingers RPF Premium Member Knightjar's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
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    UK
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    852
    Nov 24, 2014, 10:02 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #17

    Timtastic said: View Post
    It would seem difficult to make 4 square legs of equal length move forward and backward without the bottom surfaces catching on the ground.
    That was my problem with the design too. I love the concept of a modular, reconfiguring robot but the gait that it would need most of the time - for interacting in a human environment - seems awkward. It seems like it would need some sort of ankle articulation to be able to work efficiently.
  18. RPF Premium Member Unforgiven's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2012
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    28
    Nov 24, 2014, 12:13 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #18

    I saw the movie and of all the preposterous suspensions of disbelief I was forced to swallow, the worst was the fact that the geniuses behind this mission would design a robot crew member with multiple sharp, hard corners for work among humans in zero-G, lol.

    I'll take V.I.N.CENT over TARS any day!
  19. joshvanrad's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
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    MN, United States
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    Nov 24, 2014, 12:30 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #19

    Unforgiven said: View Post
    I saw the movie and of all the preposterous suspensions of disbelief I was forced to swallow, the worst was the fact that the geniuses behind this mission would design a robot crew member with multiple sharp, hard corners for work among humans in zero-G, lol.

    I'll take V.I.N.CENT over TARS any day!
    Hello and good day,

    You are no longer welcome here.

    Regards,
    Joshua C.
  20. steveng's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Virginia, USA
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    37
    Nov 24, 2014, 4:08 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #20

    Timtastic, my measurements are by no means accurate to the movie prop. It's a best guess based on what info I could find. I started much larger and resized it. See the current dimensions in the pic.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I agree that in reality the movie design would not work for walking. There would need to be more joints or different segment lengths. But I think it's a viable concept. Probably a design made up of interlocking cubes would be best? Preferably cubes with rounded corners
  21. steveng's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Virginia, USA
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    37
    Nov 24, 2014, 4:37 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #21

    Although the photos and illustrations show a circular joint, in reality would a slot work better? It would allow the segments to move up and down to allow the "walking" we see in the movie.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  22. Member Since
    Nov 2014
    Messages
    7
    Nov 25, 2014, 4:11 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #22

    Unforgiven said: View Post
    I saw the movie and of all the preposterous suspensions of disbelief I was forced to swallow, the worst was the fact that the geniuses behind this mission would design a robot crew member with multiple sharp, hard corners for work among humans in zero-G, lol.

    I'll take V.I.N.CENT over TARS any day!
    Since you saw the movie, you should remember that TARS wasn't designed for space missions. Anne Hathaway's character states that he was a hand-me-down from the department of defense essentially.
  23. steveng's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2010
    From
    Virginia, USA
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    Nov 26, 2014, 12:57 AM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #23

    Even without the exact dimensions for the robots, I went ahead and created an "Action Figure" version of TARS. I designed it to use magnets for the joints. I split each of the 4 segments into 2 halves so that I get a good print. I successfully printed 1 segment tonight and will attempt to print another Thursday. If the joints work, I'll print the other 2 segments to create a complete robot. I'll then put the segments through an acetone vapor bath, sand, putty and paint to complete. I've included a photo of the completed first segment halves.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. JediCarl is offline JediCarl
    Nov 26, 2014, 12:47 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #24

    That is awesome! I'd definitely like to print a TARS "figure" for myself once you're done (if you're welling to share the STL file). Looking great, so far!
  25. joshvanrad's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2013
    From
    MN, United States
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    2,237
    Nov 26, 2014, 1:01 PM - Re: Interstellar TARS build #25

    SOMEBODY JUST MAKE A TARS ALREADY!!! The suspense is killing me.

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