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Will Wagenaar's curious robot contraptions -- photos

Artist Will Wagenaar scours yard sales and flea markets for discarded objects that he transforms into playful works of art. Here's a gallery of some of his best.

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Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
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Jiggles

Florida-based artist Will Wagenaar is obsessed with junk. He constantly scours yard sales and flea markets for discarded objects that he transforms into playful works of art. Wagenaar's robot sculptures, all recycled and bolted together, seem at once antique and futuristic. Here's a gallery of some of his best.

This canine robot of yesteryear wiggles when petted. It was fashioned from a lunch box, camera, opera glass parts, pie servers, springs, gooseneck lamp part, drapery rod finial, clock key, and tin cups. It might leave a few nuts and bolts on your carpet.

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Commander Cupcake

This character's nickname is Costume Kid Steampunk Robot (real name: Commander Cupcake). According to Wagenaar, Cupcake's grandfather bought him a mail-order uniform and the Kid loved it so much he refused to take it off.

This curious assemblage features a brass planter, candlesticks, a silver box, sugar bowl, French opera glasses, a torch tip, silver-plated forks, a brass dish, vintage brass cuckoo clockworks, an antique clock key, and vintage metal buttons.

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Wanda

The insectile Wanda is a hard-working female robot with an antique creamer for a body and head and a clock key in her back. That's why she's all wound up at the end of the day. Her other components include a sugar container, candlesticks, a brass tag, a cuckoo clock chain, and earrings.
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Sparky

Sparky has been hit by lighting 14 times, says the artist. That makes him a "seriously paranoid robot." And that's why he's always got his eyes on the sky. This quirky bot is made of a vintage carburetor, old toy bulldozer parts, mini binoculars, salad tongs, a small copper tea pot, and candlestick parts.
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Timer

Described by its creator as a "calibrated contraption steampunk robot sculpture," Timer is poised to "dance or perform magic." This robot has an antique mahogany mantle clock for a body, and antique binoculars for a head. The look is completed by solid brass and silver-plated candelabra parts and a scale wheel.
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Professor Portly

Unmistakably academic, Professor Portly is on an endless quest for knowledge. He seems to be in the middle of an endless lecture. His specs are antique French opera glasses and his head is an old Turkish coffee pot. A French copper pot, lined with velvet inside, serves as a belly and doubles as a jewelry box. His other parts are a plant dolly, an antique compass, a gauge, gears, candelabra parts, silver-plated trivet parts, and movie camera parts.
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Radford

With a retro View-Master for a head and an antique English tin (Radford's Roasted Nuts) for a body, Radford is a juxtaposition of eras in retail manufacturing. A roller skate completes his eclectic appearance. A faucet, valve, and tongs make up the rest of this lovable piece.
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Ticker Too

This antique robot is a real baroque bricolage. With a name like Ticker, it's no surprise an old cuckoo clockworks forms its head, with French opera glasses for eyes. The body is a vintage tobacco case. Other parts include an antique clock key, a vintage roller tool, and a gauge.
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Geo

Geo is a robot inventor of medicinal lozenges. Artist Wagenaar describes him thus: "At the dawn of the electrical age, this visionary created the Electric Cough Drop. Perfect, perhaps, for other robots, but most people found the entire concept to be quite frightening."

An old cough drop tin forms Geo's body. He has a lantern for a head and roller skates for feet. His eyes are opera glasses.

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Beetle

Perhaps reminiscent of Number Five from the film "Short Circuit," Beetle is a mobile jewelry box lined with velvet. His wheels are from a toy car and his head is a pair of vintage opera glasses.
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Greta

This otherworldly robot is called Greta, and artist Wagenaar simply says, "She doesn't want to be alone anymore."

This alluring fembot is made up of a vintage Dutch tin, candlestick parts, brass fittings, a silver plate box, knobs, and a spring.

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