PHILOSOPHISING inventors Jesse Stevens and Dean Peterson are heavily influenced by 1950s science-fiction dystopias, but try not to get too down about it.
Their robots don't head towards perfection, but come with built-in fake failure and glitches.
"There's a sadness in it, but it's also quite funny," Mr Stevens said.
"It seems a lot of young people feed into that quite well."
The two media artists from Cake Industries will be building "crazy large mechanical machines" and creating likenesses of the people of Ballarat in 3D as part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend this Saturday and Sunday.
Mr Stevens said they found it interesting to explore, through robots, the idea of dystopia from political and social perspectives.
Many of their works reference the past while also looking to a possible future, like the science fiction writers of the 1950s and 1960s who focused "on the future in a way we haven't seen since".
"People were happy to let their imaginations take hold," Mr Stevens said.
"It had a basis in what was possible but it wasn't just an extrapolated from what we're currently doing."
"We're hoping to capture as many people as we can and keep as a collection to leave in Ballarat"
During Heritage Weekend the inventive pair will be building mechanical machines referencing late 19th century and early 20th century "Goldberg madness" and their version of a "Marvellous Machine" will also be display.
"We like to use electro-mechanic sensing, megatronics, robotics, 3D printing, electronics, moulding and remix these things into a kind of anachronistic representation of society," Mr Stevens said.
"We'll also be capturing the likenesses in 3D of the people of Ballarat.
"We're hoping to capture as many people as we can and keep as a collection to leave in Ballarat... we hope that these stay as a snapshot of the people of Ballarat in 2014."
Visit them 10am – 5pm daily this Saturday and Sunday in the Hooper Room of the Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Ballarat Heritage Weekend
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, May 10 and 11
WHERE: Venues around Ballarat
MORE INFO: www.ballaratheritageweekend.com