Thursday, June 16, 2011

Robots, Creativity, and Imagination:
Brooklyn RobotWorks

It was 11:45am on a late Saturday morning in Manhattan. Outside of the famed Pennsylvania Hotel, where Wizard World New York was just underway, foot traffic came to a grinding halt in anticipation of an unusual sight. It was on that day that 7th Avenue was graced by an appearance from Bumblebee, one of the most popular Autobots on the Transformers' roster. The yellow and silver robot zipped around on foot as he greeted his fans and brought smiles to the faces of curious children. Everyone scrambled for their cameras to capture a shot of the most realistic Transformer Cosplay costumes ever seen to date.

In reality, Bumblebee, is the brain child of robot exoskeleton creator, Peter Kokis and his company, Brooklyn RobotWorks. Nearly two years ago, Peter, began to explore his love for intricate costume making by conceptualizing his first creation, Brooklyn Optimus Prime. The positive reaction of his first masterpiece led to the inspiration and desire to turn his craft into a full time job. Soon enough, a second robot, Brooklyn Bumblebee appeared on the seen, which set the bar for exoskeleton costume design even higher.

Made from manipulated plastics and household items, the effort Peter Kokis puts into his creations can truly be appreciated. Peter label's himself as a perfectionist, and sets a high standard for his work. For example, a plastic water bottle can be molded into a blaster cannon, but it must be molded in such a way that it will not be easily identifiable as a water bottle. Under developing the character's exoskeleton can ruin it'mystique.

While at Wizard World New York, I managed to catch up with Bumblebee for a quick interview as he took a break from his mission of protecting the citizens of our great city:

When and Where did you first make contact with human life here on Earth?

It was at the June 2009 Mermaid Parade in Coney Island,  Brooklyn. The evil Developercons were gaining ground in their efforts to take over Coney Island,  and Brooklyn Optimus Prime dispatched me to Earth to watch; over the parade...To Protect. The Mermaid Parade is an art parade - and quite colorful - so I fit right in. B-Prime instilled in us the need to set a good example - to always seek to improve ourselves - and so I recently upgraded myself. Humans are a young species,  but what we see in them makes us want to stay awhile. Things also seem to be a bit weird right now, so perhaps we can help.

What is Bumblebee's mission?

To Protect ALL life - human or otherwise - as well as all forms of artistic expression. I support freedom and democracy worldwide,  and seek to inspire others.

Who are some of Bumblebees closest friends?

Brooklyn Optimus Prime,  more of a commander than a friend, but still a friend. My comrade Brooklyn Ironhide also,  despite his rough manner...he means well. He's on his way to Earth;  joining us. Of course, all of the humans that I've encountered during my missions here I now consider my friends.

Volkswagen Beetle or Chevy Camaro? Which car does Bumblebee prefer?

Well,  I did like those horns I had as a Beetle,  but the superior performance and handling qualities of the Camaro win out...hey, It's an American muscle-car! I really like my chest,  too!

What advice does Bumblebee have for his younger fans?

Be good to your parents,  siblings,  friends,  and teachers: they mean you well. Keep an open mind. Don't rush to judgement. The question is never CAN you do something,  but SHOULD you... And if you should see me,  please offer me water.

What scares Bumblebee most?

Nothing on your world scares me. With more missions, I am becoming comfortable with stairs Escalators are of concern,  however, so I try to avoid them.

What is Bumblebees opinion of Megan Fox?

I have ready-access to worldwide databases, and have never seen a bad photo of Ms. Fox. I miss her and wish her well. She always treated me well. I do like Brits, so I will give this new young lady a chance.

Where will Bumblebee be appearing next?

Brooklyn Bumblebee is returning to Coney Island To Protect the 2011 Mermaid Parade on June 18th,  fate-willing and sunshine-only. It is the most fun summer event in NYC,  and certainly worth a trip across the planet. All humans seeking entertainment should attend. After that, I am not sure. Brooklyn Optimus Prime is sensing an evil presence - a malevolence that is robotic, so we are looking into that.

The creations of Brooklyn RobotWorks are available for parties, events, and conventions. For more information, please visit the official company website at

Be sure to take a look at the official homepages of Bumblebee and friends

Brooklyn Optimus Prime -

Brooklyn Bumblebee -

COMING SOON! Brooklyn Terminator -

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