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Robots, Cyborgs, and Androids of A-Kon 22

Posted 1 Jul 2011 at 21:54 UTC (updated 2 Jul 2011 at 14:19 UTC) by steve Share This

I attended A-Kon 22 recently and tried to spot all the robots, androids, and cyborgs among the 18,000+ cosplayers and anime fans wandering the downtown Dallas Sheraton. There were plenty of bots to spot and I probably only found a fraction of them. Read on for a sampling.


R2D2 explores the hotel lobby

Robots were visible at A-Kon 22 in every form imaginable. The most obvious were the two full-sized R2D2s built by Dallas Personal Robotics Group members Jeff Koenig and Glenn Pipe. These two robots attracted massive crowds where ever they went and spent hours posing for photos with cosplayers. (Jeff's R2 has its own Facebook page with at least 300 more photos from A-Kon 22!)


Left: Two R2s amaze the crowds. Right: Cosplayers posing with R2

R2D2 wasn't the only famous fictional robot there, of course. Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theater 3000 were also around, as was some distant relative of Tom Servo who was part Transformer and part evil, tentacled alien (or something).


Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Tom's evil cousin

Robots of all types were all well-represented in the art department. Well known artist Brad Foster was there. I first met Brad at an AggieCon back in the 1980s and he's still going strong, drawing robots of all shapes and sizes. He's published a book of some of his best robot art called, appropriately, Bots. You can find Brad's Bot book and other art on his website.


Brad Fosters and his Bots

There were also books like Sherard Jackson's Draw Mecha that could teach you how to draw robots. And there were plenty of comic books (oops, I mean "graphic novels") about robots, cyborgs, exoskelton-clad super heros, and just about every other form of robotic hardware you can imagine. Oh, and robot T-shirt artwork too.


Learnable robot art, wearable robot art, readable robot art

Three dimensional figurine type things have also become common at conventions lately. Most seems to be aimed at either gamers or collectors of tiny replicas of scantily-clad female Anime characters. However, robots are represented amongst the dolls and figures too. Some of these tiny robot models are amazingly detailed little machines.


Left: Tiny Steampunk War Robot Right: Even tinier cyborg brain creature

Don't forget the massive collection of robot toys to be found at A-Kon. There are many imported new Japanese toys representing Anime robots like Robotech, Gundams, and a dozen others you may never of heard of. Other dealers specialize in vintage robot toys from the past like Transformers, Rock-em Sock-em Robots, and even older bots.


Assorted Anime robot toys

I'm sure I'm leaving out some of the robot goodness of A-Kon 22 as well as all the other crazy stuff such as the ballet group that was re-enacting famous dances from Cowboy Bebop and other Anime, the major steampunk contingent that showed up this year, and the blinking glowing ravers who appear in the early morning hours. Go check my gallery of A-Kon 22 photos. Or my older sets from A-Kon 20 and the A-Kon 20 rave. Or, see over 230 more galleries of A-Kon 22 photos linked from A-Kon's official gallery listing.

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