Tinselfire's avatar

Aita schematic

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By Tinselfire   |   Watch
Published: May 1, 2017
© 2017 - 2019 Tinselfire
Original character by Noy and Latzka: sairianahornsirup.deviantart.c…

The big robot girl, as advertised. Also, I'm well aware this is not actually a schematic in the technical sense.

Took a lot longer than it should have. Repainted the whole "clothed" version a couple of times experimenting with hair, fur and lighting - which was a learning experience, but which I should perhaps have left for another context since this take on Aita is indeed supposed to have anime wig hair, stuffed toy fur and lifeless budget fursuit-like eyes.
Moderately pleased with the result. Started without a clear plan in mind and had to pay up for it later down the road. Norman Rockwell, I am not. Still, was fun working in the page spread format. And do have a soft spot for the ads in really old computer magazines.

Going under the big robot girl's fur has given me an entirely new appreciation for how under her rough exterior, in at least one respect Gleam is easily one of the most open minded characters in current fiction.
When was the last time you considered how your significant other looks within?

EDIT: Reuploaded after correcting a spelling error.
Image size
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Comments28
anonymous's avatar
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FooserX's avatar
FooserXHobbyist Digital Artist
Awesomeness...

Makes me wish this was a series to see other animal-androids.
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Why, thank you <3 A few years old and would hope I have gotten a bit better at weasels since, but was a lot of fun to paint - and you may be as surprised to hear as I was to find out, thus far almost universally popular with children.

I have inherited ownership of the character since, and intend to return to her and her owner soon, probably including an updated schematic; and a line of other therianthrobots is a nice idea. For better or worse, though, I've put perhaps a bit too much thought into the worldbuilding: In the setting humanoid robots are largely confined to then-contemporary Russia, so keeping with the electronics aesthetic of the time and place there is only one dominant robot family. They differ in chassis types (which specify species and sex), but their actual visible components are standardized, only differing in fitting and performance. Major differences are largely invisible, like battery and engine type, sensor suite and the placement of the ICs on the cards.
Maybe I should reconsider that.
Redtriangle's avatar
RedtriangleStudent Digital Artist
Is this the robot Weasel you talked to me about?

She obviously look retro or old-tech but even nostalgic. When I was little I was crazy about robotics, robotics in the 90's isn't much different from hers.
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
That would be her, yes. I inherited the character last year - if you like this design and find the time, do recommend you give SairianAhornsirup's original design a look as well. It should still be on their FA.

She is indeed very retro: The story is set in 1978 and Aita is a 1975 model. Most of her described components actually are historical electronics - if with some liberties taken with their utility.
I would say there is a noticeable difference since aesthetically the late 70's and early 90's are separated by the Terminator robot aesthetic and the shift towards GUIs and away from analog designs, as well as the "wood age" of electronics decisively ending. But yes, there are similarities which by far outweigh the differences, such as both predating the contemporary white plastic aesthetic, and the focus on modular designs that a hobbyist with some technical knowledge can open up and service.
Redtriangle's avatar
RedtriangleStudent Digital Artist
I was thinking both 70's and 90's robotics are more bulky.

Today's robotics or aiming towards to be more slimmer and lighter and even the parts inside are smaller.
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Ah, yes! My bad, I was thinking about the components and interfaces only.

Historically fictional robots that have strived to imitate humans or animals (or in this case, human-shaped animals) have taken great care to match size and proportions, so outwardly there would not be a noticeable difference in bulk regardless of era. No matter if it is Arabian Nights with mercury-powered courtesans or David Cage. But that is fiction, of course. Looking at robots of such close generations as COG, Kismet and Leonardo, there is a huge difference even there.
Maweewolf's avatar
MaweewolfProfessional General Artist
Really nice work...looks very professional the way you have displayed your designs on the page. Your choice of colours is good and fits the drawing well. The amount off detail is excellent and really considered. All in all a really good informative ref sheet :)
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Thank you. I have little formal knowledge of graphic design, but I have a great liking for the magazine advertisements of the 70's and 80's - really glad to hear I seem to have gotten the idea -.o

The character is not originally mine, so never quite thought of this as a reference sheet - but yes, glad to hear it works that way, especially as there are some differences from the original. Do warmly recommend giving it a look: It should be on their FA pages.

Mink and robot weasel's delivery service (1 of 2)For and with characters created by Noy and Latzka:
Gleam Volcanins is having a day worse than another, and the situation is not about to improve. The young mink has made less than a good impression with the law, being sent to prison at 18 after taking the fall for her apparently not-so-significant other. Of all the ways she considered starting life as an adult, spending ten hours a day soldering consumer electronics was not one among them. It gets no better as her family at last declares she won't be welcome around the house any time in the foreseeable future, what for being generally abrasive, chronically lazy, permanently slightly drunk, less-than-legally inclined, and having an improper interest in pretty girls. That last part pretty much gives the foreseeable future an infinite extension.
Luck finally takes a better turn as her release draws near. A friend of the family sets her up with a place to stay, a robot to back her up in starting a business, and a not so subtle hint to shut

If you are curious about the technical design, have written a bit on hers.
JuliaBen's avatar
JuliaBenHobbyist Digital Artist
Wow *-* Such a great details you reached here :D I like all micro details of mechanisms, fur and eyes!

Her name is original, it reminds me a combination between Z80 CPU and "Электроника", as a series of russian handheld electronic games (a copy of Nintendo's Game & Watch and similar with Tiger Electronic Games), we played it in early childhood :) Great job!
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Thank you. I am very glad to hear you enjoy it, and that for many different reasons. This is a year old and I hope I have come some way since, but it remains one of the pieces I had the most fun making thus far - and considering I had no idea how to reference nor to even use basic shading then, am still very pleased with the result.
I wish there were more highly detailed furry robots so I could have more to compare to.

I am glad to hear the name is familiar, and there is a story behind it. When I first saw the characters of Aita and Gleam...

Battery check by Tinselfire
These two.

... I was completely struck by the designs and - a very unusual occurrence! - wanted to draw some fanart immediately. Except, I had no idea what sort of setting they lived in. The information I had was pretty poor, and the authors were quite anonymous at the time. So until I knew more I made something up, setting the story in a fantasy electronic take on Soviet Russia - supposedly 1978.
I later got in touch with the original authors and learned I was not entirely off, but with some big differences. In the original setting (quasi-Europe, but not specifically Russia) Aita is a semi-custom design by Cuthbert, Gleam's uncle and lead engineer. In the AU she has a product name, model number, serial number and is a standard design made in a factory, so like most other consumer level electronics in the Soviet bloc she shares the "Elektronika" brand name - she is the same product line as pocket calculators and video games.
"Z80" was a given. Found it fascinating how despite there being a lot of powerful Russian Cold war computer designs, the most common microprocessor in Soviet Russia - like in the West - was the Z80 and its clones. Since this is basically fantasy, Aita too uses a Z80 CPU, running at a whopping 1,8 MHz.

Please forgive that it has taken me a while getting back to you. Had a lot going on in the past week.
canisdirusleidy's avatar
the most common microprocessor in Soviet Russia - like in the West - was the Z80 and its clones

Not exactly. Soviet home computers (either DIY or industrial designs) mostly based at КР580ВМ80, clone of i8080. Z80 appeared (in USSR and in large quantities) only in the second half of the eighties with imported MSX/MSX2 computers and ZX Spectrum clones, and Т34ВМ1 appeared at the last moment: in 1991.

P.S. By the way. There was a ZX Spectrum compatible machine «Орель БК-08»
P.S. И чтобы два раза не вставать. «Электроник — пушистик мальчик из чемодана». ;)
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Aye, there are a lot of anachronisms in this story. Some are intentional - as is probably inevitable with intelligent robots running around in the seventies - but the processor was something I only learned long after the fact. Truth to be told, my knowledge of computer history is nowhere near as solid as the story may make it seem, and at the time I believed the i8080 was a development of the Z80.

Yes, you may laugh if you wish.

In the end, decided to stick with the Z80 since the name was "catchier" and Zilog is a company with less public brand recognition than Intel, so it seemed to fit the setting better. There is admittedly a bit of exoticism at work here: I do not know a lot about how life actually was in a Russian small town in the late seventies, so apart from the details I could confirm - like how Aita's delivery firm has not acquired their truck in an even remotely legal way - mostly went with what sounded good.

I am quite fond of the Spectrum, so hoping to incorporate it in some way if I return to the setting.
JuliaBen's avatar
JuliaBenHobbyist Digital Artist
Oh it's ok, I'm quite busy too and can reply after a month xD
Yeah, that 1,8 MHz was so much to build serious machines (not only Sega Genesis, xD), I think if Azimov in 70's wrote about robots more complicated he might to descrivbe such a giant numbers :) *looking at damned piece of modern unstable, unoptimized software, whatever on PC, Mac, consoles or portable devices, which can use huge amount of RAM and GHz and working terrible anyway... Google Chrome on Windows 10 for example xD*

This is interesting stotry about Aita and Gleam :) Concerning us, we are living in Russia, so our fantastic worlds and background stories with our characters were on the other side of Earth, in USA xD Unfortunately there are no any competitive manufactures in our country today, in compare with probably mighty USSR and Cold war times. For example our modern CPUs which produced in St. Petersburg has power equal to Intel processors 7-10 years ago... It's cheaper to buy any ARM from China and put "russian" label on it, you know xD

My character, biorobot Del has no such a complicated specifications just because I liked to read Isaac Asimov and his early robot fictions from 50s and 60s. He wrote so much but had never wrote about positronic brains so accurate with direct digits and used minimum of scientific definitions. And at second, I am a girl, I did not take care for such technical information when imagined my Del Kon a lot of years ago. But today I know a little bit more, he-he :)
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Currently designing a character who uses exactly the same concepts, but in a space opera milieu, so accordingly she is a lot more sophisticated than the specs I gave for Aita.
She runs at 700 MHz on a Motorola derivate. Sophisticated - in comparison -.o
As a friend put it, when you are dealing with a fantasy take on vintage electronics, it is possible to both have the cake and eat it.

On this occasion, picked Russia because - in context and from past experience - it felt naturally to have the characters at home. I have written retro-themed cyberpunk in the past, which I usually set in Sweden in an alternate 90's. Knew as much as that Tinly and Rheiss (the artists' current callsigns) were somewhere in West-central Russia, and their style leaned very much towards either 60's or 70's at the time, so Russia in 1978 it was.
Invented the town where it all goes down, though. I thought about setting it in Orel, but large cities tend to have cultural specifics that change over time. In a small industry town, you can get away with telling a lot more bizarre and anachronistic stories.

Truth to be told, Del does fantastically well in that regard. Asimov knew and was very eager to share the greatest secret of writing lasting robots: Never give the processing specifications. If you give a number, it will be surpassed. A specific technology, it will be obsolete.
Think that is part of why I enjoy writing Aita so much. Since the premise of consumer-level strong AI running on a Z80 in 1978 is intentionally absurd, one is free to describe everything in detail.
JuliaBen's avatar
JuliaBenHobbyist Digital Artist
Finnaly, it's time to answer!

Just wow, that might be really awesome. 700 MHz vs 1,8 MHz are just like Intel 80386 vs modern Xeon Sunglasses are good  I also think your new character may get additional elements/drive units etc

You know, now I looking through wikipedia and find out USSR really produced CPU like Intel 8086 and that was interesting (and sounds absolutely fantstic today for russians, we produced competitive products). If you are interested, you can check what Russia is creating today (or have a label to be more correctly) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbrus_2…
Also there were Sputnik and something else from St. Petersburg, I don't remember. But again, I see the last modification of Elbrus is producing by TSMC... And we even can't buy it, it is uncompatable with Windows 7 or higher, only specific Linux-based OS for workstations.

Unfortunately I can't tell something about Orel or it culture history, we are living in Krasnodar (it's rather close to Sochi) and never interested in history of other russian cities, except probably Moscow and St. Petersburg. It's a giant country and not only geographically giant, but also every region is not like others. Unique feature of every giant country on this planet for sure xD So your suggestion to put your story into some kind of small industrial town near Orel is a great choice.

You wrote: "Think that is part of why I enjoy writing Aita so much. Since the premise of consumer-level strong AI running on a Z80 in 1978 is intentionally absurd, one is free to describe everything in detail." But who knows, probably even Z80 computing power may give a fully functional positronic brain, all depends of optimization and well software :) Our best loved NES games, Bender from Futurama and Terminator itself were powered by even less powerful CPU then Z80 :)
Mahogi's avatar
MahogiHobbyist General Artist
Wow, absolutely stunning as usual. The details... I don't think I have seen a better done technical robot picture.
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Thank you, and that is some very high praise.
I have a great interest in robots and a fascination with technical drawings, so - without sounding ungrateful - I draw inspiration from artists like Ralph McQuarrie and Tsutomu Nihei, compared to whom my work pales. But likewise, you are very right that in the extremely narrow genre of therianthrobotics  (basically just a fancy word for furry robots), looking around I found very little comparable on Deviantart. There might be more on FA - actually there certainly is, since that is where most of Noy and Latzka's dieselpunk is posted.

If you are looking for more therianthrobotics, I would recommend some of the work of fur-kevlar (never ask to see the robot catgirl naked). If you are looking for something in roughly the same area, I'd recommend Amaryllex for her cyborgs (though rare, they are exquisite) and wyum for her occasional forays into biomechanics.
Actually wyum deserves a nod of recognition when it comes to this piece. I was quite lost what groups to turn to for therianthrobotics, and she gave me a prod in the right direction. Since this is slightly off subject for most anthro groups, think most who have seen it came through The Dark Arts.
Mahogi's avatar
MahogiHobbyist General Artist
I checked all the people you listed, and I must say that even if fur-kevlar or Amaryllex have nice cyborg characters (the robot kitty is super cute), I totally prefer your style x) My explanation WHY would probably flip you out tho...
I didn't manage to find the cyborg on wyum gallery but OMG the art is SO GOOD???!
Hmm weird, in my eyes this definitely belongs in anthro groups, as, this is a robotic furry?
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Indeed it does, but when it comes to this subject, I have learned that it is better to be safe than sorry. There have been no problems on Deviantart so far - most people have just appreciated variety - but offline my fanwork of Aita and Gleam has on occasion gotten me into trouble. Many people have been disturbed or outright frightened and disgusted, and have jumped to some rather absurd conclusions about me as a person over it.
I can take that, but still find it really sad. Part because it insults the creators of the characters by proxy, but also because it is really hypocritical. In Sweden, there runs an inflation in talk about love and tolerance - so why, when these are two characters in a sound intimate relationship, do people look no further than there being a scary robot?

Yes, wyum is a bit on the borderline. Her biomechanics blur very much into her darker, surreal work - and blurs even further since, as far as I know, they are of indistict provenance and not intended to be obviously artificial.

Also... please, do flip me out.
Mahogi's avatar
MahogiHobbyist General Artist
What? Into trouble?? Even if a robot and it's creator had the MOST intimate relationship, I don't see why to get disgusted? Humans should be disgusted of THEMSELVES, as holy fuck what they are doing. Probably, it got you into trouble because someone recognized themselves and felt disturbed to be revealed. People actually fuck and marry trucks so?... (pardon the language but, indeed, people are fat hypocrites, truly pointless to listen to such biased opinions). I am really sad to hear that you as an artist would get upset from useless commentators like this. Love and tolerance - people should learn it's meaning... 
Do you have more art of those two??? On DeviantArt in your gallery there is surely NOTHING disturbing?.. Have you drawn some erotic content with these two? And even if you did... people DO things like this. Should we now go and condescend everyone using a vibrator? It doesn't matter if one is not into things like this - doesn't mean you have the right to go and attack others for doing so, it didn't harm you in ANY way, let others live the way they want to... I learned this the hard way myself, as I was a stupid condescending shitkid. Love and tolerance should sort of cover this up, don't you think? Loving despite any weird quirkiness xD
Yes, I do facepalm every time I hear that someone needed urgent doctor's help because some household appliance, or whatever smooth object got stuck in someone's private parts, but, it's not my business xD I have my fucked up things, someone has theirs I guess...

And, about the flipping out. I am just so used to people actually getting insulted from my compliments or such. I am close to getting confirmed autism, and it's clear I... perform different. So, I just didn't want to say something stupid unintentionally. As, I find beauty in disturbed matter, as I'm disturbed myself. So yes, the robot was positively disturbing. You can see that the creator was trying to make it look cute, but with the available technology it wasn't easy to accomplish, so there is this huge eerie uncanny feeling. Feeling of death in her eyes. Cold steel and wires under the synthetic fur. And, hearing that the Creator Gleam had attraction to the robot makes this 100% interesting. Despite everything. There is some deep psychology running there and it FASCINATES me so much. That's what makes art ART.

Hopefully I made sense?
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Oh, it is even worse.
Most people start giving weird looks upon realising that there is a robot resembling something living depicted, and do not even get to the point of seeing there is any kind of relation involved. These are subjects I enjoy painting and feel comfortable displaying, but I am actually a bit frightened what some of those people might do if they realised the characters are in an intimate relationship.
What I have on dA is this, Battery check, and the two Mink and robot weasel[...] stories. Battery check is older and not so refined, but it is probably my own favourite since it has a lot more intimacy in it than my other work. When you think about it, under the sci-fi skinning, there is really nothing unusual going on in that picture. I mean, people who are in an intimate relationship touch and enter each other's naked bodies all the time - nothing new there.
I have written "the scene" with Gleam and Aita as part of Mink and robot weasel[...], but I will not upload it here. Part because even the FAQ states flatly that dA has fuzzy rules for what passes as artistic adult work, but mostly because I feel the original creators - although I did get permission to work with Aita and Gleam - should have final say with NSFW content.
I will say as much as that, since I abhor PWP, like most if my writing it was no dash from A to B. Aita has no genitals nor much in the way of erogenous zones, but her fingers do have flash lines and pinching joints, as Gleam learns quite late and quite deep.
Ouch.

Feeling of death in her eyes. Cold steel and wires under the synthetic fur.

This, and nearly exactly those words, may be the finest compliment I could hope for. This is spot on what I hoped to achieve. Thank you so much!
When I first saw the original designs for the characters, I was completely struck by Aita. There is no "sexy robot" design going on here, nor is there anything intentional and over the top frightening. She just looked naturally utilitarian - the simplest, quickest solution for getting a robot up and out, with the big charging slot and the conduits awkwardly sticking out, and a big stuffed toy-like smile on it all. I had to know more! And until I knew more, I made a bit up - if you read the stories, you might call it more than just a bit.
Most of Aita's external design is unchanged from the original, but as you can see, rendering her in a different style makes a difference for impression. When painted in a more natural style rather than coloured lineart, it gets obvious quickly that Aita has toy animal fur, anime wig hair, and the utterly lifeless static plastic eyes of a budget fursuit. Her specs are known (she is not very fast). Her parts are individually known and numbered. There is nothing mystical about how she functions; she is simply a machine. Nevertheless, she is also intelligent, mobile, and with an identity and agenda of her own, fully capable of functioning as an equal to all around her - whether she is actually alive and conscious is completely irrelevant.
Think perhaps this might be what some people find so disturbing about relations between people and robots - it says something about ourselves, and we do not like it. Every book I have read about robotics comes to the same conclusion: Humans perceive anything that moves as being alive, and anything that acts as being intelligent. That extends to ourselves...
Hmm. I seem to have gone off ranting on a tangent. My bad.

One last thing, however. Gleam is pretty damn smart, but she is not Aita's creator. In the original, Aita and Gleam are coworkers, and Aita is assigned by Gleam's uncle to keep the happy-go-lucky mink pointed in the professional direction. In my fanworks, Gleam is Aita's owner and receives her from a friend of her distanced family, to help her start a business after being released from prison.
In both cases, morbid hilarity ensues.
Mahogi's avatar
MahogiHobbyist General Artist
Hmm, I guess people are still not over that someday we will have ~life-like looking robots walking around us? I don't know. I am personally extremely fascinated by robotics and cyborgs.
One epic example, go to 2:15 time!, Or this crazy video about the same girl Sophia *fangirls hard*
I believe robotics is our future in every way, and I find it amazing...

Interesting, indeed the way you described, it does sound intimate. Getting under the synthetic fur, tightening some bolts, exploring various cavities, etc things you do when you need to work on your robot. Especially if Aita understands the repairing process, she technically 100% gives herself into the arms of Gleam. And indeed probably no one ever would think anything if the robot looked like box...
I am VERY happy to hear, that this robot... makes sense. No genitals or anything related with sex at all. Literally just a functional robot. By saying "abhor PWP" do you mean despising completely ??? sexual content that literally makes no sense at all? If yes - HELL YES I agree. I find it so... stupid? Maybe because I'm asexual, but I am so badly no interested in random not making any sense bullshit?... If it REALLY follows the plot then sure, fine. Like in the movie "The Postman" yes there was a sex scene, but it actually made perfect sense and it REALLY was in place. Very rare quality in movies these days >.>

Thank you for explaining Aita's and Gleam's ownership status! Sorry, I did not real the 2 texts you have on Deviantart. Embarrases me really but I seriously struggle reading long texts on a computer. Includes emails, comments and so on :E I can't understand why... Meh. When I actually love long responses showing that the person really cared. It's like my eyes start flickering, jumping around too much and I get lost. So, to read and write something long and constructive takes more than it normally should. I think I still have a mail from you, marked with a star. I will get to it I promise! 
Tinselfire's avatar
Tinselfire General Artist
Oooh, curious. On a phone without mobile broadband right now, but will be certain to check it out once I am back on a more solid platform.

Of course, Aita is completely fearless - even moreso than actual weasels! - and being shut down and disassembled for service is a completely natural part of how she is intended to work, but still. The trust there is nothing short of absolute.
There is also the obvious practical part: You do not expose your very best friend to risk of electrocution.

"Abhor" might have been a strong word, one that is best reserved for people eating children and the likes, but quite so. It is not that I have something on principle against short stories that are just a scene, but very much so when they are only an excuse. I prefer not to talk about "tasteful" sexuality since that by its very wording implies a matter of taste, but I have no patience when there is absolutely no context or anything but a minimum effort involved.

I prefer to write it quirky, not immediately obvious, and even a little awkward at times - and for that, Gleam and Aita were a real treat. First there is the whole question if Aita at all understands the relationship dynamics involved, and then there are the actual physical aspects; Gleam insisting to unscrew Aita's whiskers (steel wire through the eye? No thanks), and Aita insisting she should plug in her extension cord - getting late, and her batteries are running dry. On top of that Aita has a completely dry mouth, functional sharp edges, and needs a lot of code exploitation to actually feel something. Gleam gets a pass as well: A lot of the original work shows them with entwined tails, so figured it was a good moment to touch on how the rough, foul-mouthed courier might have a (perhaps to her embarrassment and discomfort) shamelessly romantic side.
Then of course there is the morning after, when the cord has been yanked out sometime in the night, and Gleam has to start the day weaseling out of Aita's unresponsive death grip.
Reading back, it would seem that without mentioning any explicit detail, I have told everything relevant of the scene.

I can see what you mean - I have found that reading scrolling text gets harder as I grow older. There is no hurry, so no worries: I too have a huge backlog of mail.
Nevertheless, while I am often shy to promote my work, think you would enjoy part two of Mink and robot[...]. There are some details in it that may not make sense without the technical stuff from part one, but it has most of the character interaction, and it is (admittedly unintentionally) broken up to be easy on the eyes.
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SalaAlternate's avatar
Holy HECK!! That is some AMAZING robotic detail right there, wow!!! I absolutely love seeing details on robots and you absolutely nailed it right there!!!

I love your art style, man! Very, VERY well done! :clap: :D
anonymous's avatar
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