(This will be old news to most MotoringFile readers)

From MINIUSA Press:

It’s a close encounter of another auto kind. The mysterious eyewitness sightings of humanoid robots built from MINI Cooper parts has created an urban auto legend — and a new line of MINI Robot collectibles.

The R50R MINI Robots come with a 44-page book excerpt, Men of Metal: Eyewitness Accounts of Humanoid Robots, by freelance writer Rowland Samuel. His book investigates the sightings of MINI Cooper humanoid robots near Oxford, England, saving people’s lives from car accidents.

Blurring the Line Between Man and Machine
Legend has it that Dr. Colin Mayhew, an auto enthusiast and robotics scientist from Oxford, England, retooled his MINI Cooper for use by artificial intelligence. Dr. Mayhew used the 163 hp engine and 6-speed transmission to give his robots speed and power, and then tested the metal models by releasing them at night. The roadside sightings of the robots were all made near Dr. Mayhew’s research facility.

The MINI robots and their drawings were first discovered on the World Wide Web and quickly fueled debates. Questions may remain, but the joy of exploring the MINI robot mystery is almost as fun as driving the MINI Cooper.

Each of the three collectible robot designs follows the mysterious life-saving legend: the MINI Cooper’s roof is redeployed as a protective shield on the robot’s right arm and the elbows bend for “motorist-rescue action.” The colorful, larger-than-life collectibles also feature MINI Cooper headlights and the front hood serves as the robot’s chest. The collection and development of these unique creatures is all part of MINI’s “Men of Metal” marketing campaign.

The R50R MINI Robot comes in three versions: Dark Silver with a Checkered rooftop, Electric Blue with a Stars and Stripes rooftop, and Chili Red with a Union Jack rooftop. Each collectible retails for $20 and can be purchased at a MINI dealership, online at www.miniusa.com or by calling 1-866-467-6464.

Motorers can even assemble their very own R50R MINI Robot poster by downloading a PDF from www.miniusa.com and piecing together the parts in rows, but what happens after creating the model is anyone’s guess.