Sometimes, talking just isn’t enough for people to understand the benefits of autonomous vehicle technology. It’s never been about taking control away from people, but rather freeing them up to do other things and making driving safer.
‘Look N0 H4ND5’ is the world’s first autonomous vehicle sculpture, and we’re proud to have worked with sculptor and mechanical model-maker Ivan Morgan to imagine and create this fantastic interactive artwork that appears like something out of a forward-thinking Wallace & Gromit movie. It will attend events with us, alongside the latest technology from the autonomous vehicle ecosystem.
An unusual brief
“I enjoyed making this Look N0 H4ND5 automaton, but found it quite a challenge fitting in all the moving parts,” said Ivan. “I have designed and made over 50 automata, but this one was unusual, as I was working to a brief rather than designing my own – amending it as I went along. I hope it will encourage others to make their own mechanical models and to learn more about autonomous vehicles.”
Look closely to see all the details: keen eyes and binoculars at the front pierce into the distance, while a LiDAR sensor spins on top. Ears on either side listen out for problems, supported by an ultrasonic sensor (well, a bat) at the rear. An antenna provides connectivity to the rest of the world, and the four vehicle occupants are enjoying a cocktail, reading, working on a laptop and knitting, respectively. All of that and not a steering wheel in sight.
The construction process
Ivan started with the idea that the figures could just revolve and bob up and down a bit, but after making the cogs and cams, he decided that they needed more movement to look realistic. He wanted the drinker to raise his glass, and the laptop operator to move her arms, so he took those parts out and started again.
Ivan made a set of three cogs to take the rotation from the crank to power the wheels and spinning cylinder, but they didn’t run freely enough, so they were discarded. He came up with a much simpler solution, though it took several revisions to fit the works into the space available. Ivan made some sprocket wheels to power the axels using a blind puller cord, but that kept catching. Finally, he used some plastic sprockets and a chain left over from a previous project.
He then thought about the binoculars on the front. Ivan carved the binoculars but because of the lack of space beneath them, in order to get them moving from side-to-side, he had to place the works on the right-hand side of the model and fit a rod across to the left. Success!
It was then just a question of fitting some cams on the driveshaft to raise and lower the wires controlling the hands of the figures. More adjustments had to be made to clear straight routes from the levers to the figures and attach the wires.
Finally, all the working parts were completed. Ivan just had to carve the ears, the bat, the eyeballs and the TV aerial and fit those on, then paint a few parts and polish the rest. “I’d been trying to think of a catchy name for the model, and I came up with the number plate N0 H4ND5, so thought ‘Look N0 H4ND5’ would be a good name. I wrote a nameplate using my pyrography tool and fixed it on,” said Ivan. “It was far more complicated than I thought it would be and took much longer than I anticipated, but I enjoyed making it.”
A model future
Alex Lawrence-Berkeley was delighted with the result of many dozens of hours of skilled work by Mr Morgan. “When I sowed the seed of this idea with Ivan, he was excited and perplexed in equal measure. I’m really impressed with the result, which I hope will get people talking and thinking more about autonomy in the future. This is a great bit of fun, shows our character, and also our passion as a company to engage people in understanding the opportunities these technologies provide.
I’m especially proud to have been able to support an artist in creating something special, which we’ll be able to show off as part of our commitment to ongoing education. Autonomy and its uses will continue to spread – everyone in the industry needs to do their bit to increase acceptance.”
Watch Look N0 H4ND5 in action below: