Hirsch & Mann collaborated with Saatchi+Saatchi, RoboSavvy and WEIR+WONG to bring the idea of FRHANK to life. FRHANK (Fridge Raiders Hunger Automation Nutritional Kit) is an artificial intelligent gaming robot that lives with the popular video game YouTube vlogger, Ali-A . Over 7 months and with the help of Ali-A’s online gaming community, FRHANK evolved and adapted to the gaming world; learning to speak ‘Gamer’, picking up new gestures, designing a new arm (the winning design included a mounted mini-projector that displayed the Call of Duty video feed), and implementing new armour image and animation updates. Now, after 10 million YouTube views, our advanced gaming robot has hit the mainstream media channels with a TV campaign and on-pack promotions.
Hirsch&Mann led the overall design of FRHANK and the production of the armour, the LED chest display, and the PS4 and XBox Call of Duty integration. The design requirement was formidable: dial up to 11 on the “bad-ass” scale while still bringing in babe-in-the-woods influences al la ET and Terminator 2. Gesture designs drew heavily from the Italian codex, but there’s some Yankee influence there too! We worked closely with our friends at Asylum FX and Mizzi Studios to vacuum form, paint, and finish fibreglass to create armour of varying transluscence which included the 2-piece Segway base covers, epaulets, chest piece and back, and the iPad encasing helmet. And, we built the stunning under-armour LED panel display. The final challenge for our team was the PS4 and XBox hack which required jumper wiring game controllers for capture of events, and then routing these events wirelessly over an XBee transmitter to FRHANK’s onboard AI brain. All in all, when the dust had settled, the project was a thrill for the entire Hirsch&Mann team.