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Robots: From junk to functional art (pictures)

California artist Tal Avitzur scours scrapyards for metal body parts of imaginary robots. Their LEDs function as night lights, while their otherworldly appearances make for great conversation pieces.

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Artist Tal Avitzur makes ornamental robots and robotic night lights out of junk he finds in California scrapyards. He works with brass, bronze, and copper to fashion bots that are out of this world.

One of Avitzur's more striking creations, Arghh!, is 31-inch-tall night light, but the artist has imagined it as a "frustrated submarine lab tech." The bot was created from an old Japanese voltmeter, bicycle cranks, various brass parts, and blinking LEDs.

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Barbie has never looked so high-tech. This 12-inch robo-doll also includes an old voltmeter, a gas filter, a glass cupping jar, and blinking LEDs.
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This piece is 12.5 inches tall and evokes spaceships from sci-fi films. It was made from an old air compressor, a copper base, brass screws, an amber glass, and an amber LED.
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These menacing Drillbots mounted on a redwood block were fashioned from LEDs and, natch, discarded electric drills.
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This wall mount was made out of a Electrolux floor polisher motor housing, naval instrument light lenses, and LEDs.
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Firebot 200

"Firebot 200 was rewarded handsomely for rescuing a tycoon from a burning building," Avitzur says. "He is now on the hunt for a trophy wife." The piece was made from a fire alarm, hose nozzles, sprinkler heads, brass pump handles, and a red LED.
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Monitor 700

"It's a hall monitor at the local junior high by day, and seductive Cuban dancer, HabaneraBot, by night," Avitzur says of this bot. It was fashioned from an old-school Shure microphone, along with antenna springs, hose nozzles, brass pump handles, and acorn nuts. It also sports a Hamilton Beach badge, and LEDs of changing colors.
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Like some game trophy from another dimension, Platylope is a wall mount that would stop anyone in his tracks. The head was made out of a vacuum cleaner motor housing; it also includes bicycle brake handles and LEDs of various colors.
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Sentry 5

"After doing battle with invading aliens, Sentry 5 is grateful to be whole again thanks to tibial implants for legs, medical rakes for hands and a shiny, brand-new taxidermy eye," Avitzur says. In fact, the eye comes from a lion and has an LED behind it for a menacing look. The robot's body is an old whipped-cream maker, its arms are from citrus presses and its hands were made from surgical retractors.
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This arresting wall mount was created from a carburator, medical retractors, sheep taxidermy eyes, marine pump cover, and LEDs.
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This truly bizarre creation is centered on an outboard motor skeg. It has striking bobcat taxidermy eyes and blinking LEDs.
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The robot studio

Avitzur's workshop features everything from Barbie dolls to plumbing parts and brass fixtures. And his faithful assistant, Mancha.

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