When you do not see citrus farmer Michael McMaster in his orchards near Porterville, you can find him in his workshop pursuing his other passion: bringing to life beloved robots from the big screen. His most recent project is a life-size, moving, talking Wall-E, built over three years from scratch. It is one of only a few like it in the world. That makes Michael a celebrity in the world of robot lovers. And there are a lot of them. His Geek Week feature on YouTube had over a million views in just a few days.
While the Wall-E robot might look like metal, he's actually made of several different materials. Michael said, "The wheels are actually cast rubber, the body is MDF, the hands are resin, plastic, and when you get up into the head it's all foam and paper."
He's nailed nearly every detail- gleaned from hours of studying the Pixar movie and input from his robot builders club. It even impressed Wall-E's creators,
"They provided a lot of input, and been very encouraging and very excited about the project in fact later in the year we're going to take the Wall-E to Pixar," McMaster said.
Michael says at nearly every convention he's gone too, there have been women who break down crying, stunned and touched by their favorite robot brought to life. And everyone wants to know, "When you gonna build Eve? That's the number one question. Figure something out. He's gotta have a girlfriend," McMaster said.
Wall-E's already made the rounds at the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and as McMaster mentioned, is going to Pixar headquarters as well.
McMaster doesn't accept visitors, but if you'd like to contact him about appearances or learn more about his robots:
McMaster Robot Project blog:mcmasterrobots.blogspot.com
Michael McMaster e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org