ECCEROBOT (Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot) is a three-year project funded by the 7th framework programme of the EU (ICT-Challenge 2, "Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics"). It has three goals: to build the first truly anthropomimetic robot; to find out how to control it; and finally, to investigate its human-like cognitive features.
For this project Futek, the maker of the load sensors on the robot wanted me to reverse engineer the entire robot for advertising purposes. This is no small scale operation, and usually leads to hours and hours of interpolation before the modeling begins. I can usually cheat by adding detail to the areas that I know will be facing the camera, but in this case the entire robot needed a high level of detail.
The idea of reverse engineering is pretty simple; obtain reasonably clear photos from various angles, determine a solid measurement (scale) and begin sketching parts. Below is one of the Maxon actuating motors which were high profile parts on the robot. I take these sketches and create planes in 3ds Max to model off of directly. Now, repeat that process twenty times, and you have your parts assembly. If your scale was correct and you stuck with that number, the parts will fit into place.
This is how the robot rendering was used on the Futek website.
The above image shows the robot being used on the clients front website page. This same robot was used in another pose for a poster and a magazine cover.