Build your own robot avatar with Japan's latest must-have app
A Tokyo-based design team has launched the latest must-have app. The app could soon find its way onto social networking sites everywhere.
LoveBots allow users of the iPhone and iPad to create their own avatars, with potential combinations numbering more than one million.
The best part is that the designs are mostly based on Japanese toy robots from past and present, meaning that otakus will have as much fun as regular users.
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A childhood desire
LoveBots were developed by locally based artist Remo Camerota -- who has previously published books on Drainspotting and Tokyo Graffiti -- together with Kiyoshi Kohatsu, former creative lead in charge of animation at Walt Disney Tokyo.
"I have a huge collection of robots, toys and magazines that fill up a room and are 90 percent from Japan," says Camerota.
"We both left our day jobs behind and decided to go out on our own and create this app from our knowledge of character design and animation," he says.
With previous experience on The Far Side, Ren & Stimpy and many Disney projects, the duo realized that "at one point or another, as far back as Mr. Potato Head and Lego, using assets uniquely to reflect your personality is something we've all done," says Camerota.
References for the robot parts come from the past 60 years, from Shonen weekly magazines, tin toys from Billiken, Gashapon toys found all over Japan, model kits from Bandai, anime such as Astro Boy and Gundam and real-life robots HRP-4 and Honda's Asimo.
LoveBots took the duo five months to create. Each character is hand-drawn with pencil and paper, then scanned and built into the app.
"We wanted to create something for adults, teenagers and kids alike, that's why LoveBots is made for all ages," says Camerota.
"And now, I dont have to fill up a room with robots and toys, I can create them and keep them in my pocket!"