The Enforcement Droid Series 209, or ED-209, is a fictional robot in the RoboCop franchise. The ED-209 serves as a heavily-armed obstacle and foil for the series' titular character, as well as a source of comic relief due to its lack of intelligence and tendency to malfunction.
The ED-209 was designed by Craig Davies, who also built the full size models, and animated by Phil Tippett, a veteran stop-motion animator. Davies and Tippett would go on to collaborate on many more projects. As one of the setpiece of the movie, the ED-209’s look and animated sequences were under the close supervision of director Paul Verhoeven, who sometimes acted out the robot's movements himself.
Director Paul Verhoeven made it clear very early on that ED-209 should not look “cute.” He wanted the robot to look hard and mean. For this reason, various common robot features were left out. There are no eyes on the ED-209, for instance, since Craig Davies believed they conveyed too much emotion as well as being clichéd. According to RoboCop writer Ed Neumeier, the ED-209 robot was designed to resemble a bipedal Vietnam War-era Huey helicopter. The rear-facing knee joints make ED-209 a so-called chicken walker.
Craig Hayes (then Davies) also incorporated his ideas about modern 1980s American design, especially car design, into the robot. He envisioned futuristic designers making the robot look good in order to make it marketable before they made it work well, “just like an American car.” The crew commentary audio track on the Criterion Collection DVD release confirms the obvious commentary on ridiculous corporate design policies, with such features as an obviously over-designed hydraulic system, over-attention paid to cosmetics and the placement of obviously vulnerable features such as the radiator grill on the very front of the robot.
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Official Site: United Artists
Links: Wikipedia Robocop Archive Rotten Tomatoes