It’s a testament to Pixar’s immense talent as an animation studio that it is able to bring such heart, emotion and unbridled cuteness to a mute, rusting trash compactor. For California-based robotics enthusiast Mike Senna, WALL-E deserved to exist outside of the realms of Disney animation…
Mike has spent the last two years building a life-sized, working WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class, for anyone unfamiliar with his origin) inspired by the Pixar robot taken to the heart of millions in the year’s since his film debut in 2008. And yes, it is as cute as it sounds. In all, the task has, according to Senna and as reported by Yahoo, led him to pour at least 25 hours a week into the project; coming to an estimated total of anywhere between 3,200 and 3,800 hours to completion. It’s a staggering achievement, and even more so when you consider Senna has also been behind building a similarly ambitious life-sized, working R2-D2 in years gone by.
But while Senna could base the look, feel and borrow manufacturing techniques from the R2-D2 models built for the Star Wars saga, the proposition of building WALL-E was an altogether different beast. Detailing the project from its inception to final build on his personal blog (where everything from how he created the weathered metal look, to the mechanics involved are covered), Senna had no schematics or real-life plans to work off, just countless watches of the Disney Pixar film that inspired him and flowing creative juices to see him through.
The end result is nothing short of remarkable and would be insanely impressive for a production outfit, let alone for a one-man team working from his garage. You can see WALL-E do his thing in the video below.