Thanks for the encouragement! It inspired me to go back and tackle this other monster (the ship) so I thought I'd post the most recent sketches for you to check out while I cleanup and recostume the king...Didn't clean these up as much as I could have and the perspective's probably still all wonky but I'm posting them anyway since I'm exhausted. I'm still not sure what the exposed "brain" of the machine would look like so that one's just a glass cover right now but I'll work on that. I hope everything's readable enough for you to look over, I didn't want to post the file too big.
Looking these over again, I think the touchscreen one would work the best as a taxi (a more sensible functional design that could be duplicated) and it would compliment the costumes of the other characters the best. I guess if I wanted too I could still incorporate the soundwave idea onto the screen since it could be a versatile interactive AI system...
all these have a nice, coherent feel to them. My vote is for the exposed sound waves - really gives a good visual to animate. . . . although they did just do something like that on Igor . . . . hmm. - if you want to give it a personality - you need something very visual - like the sound waves or give it a face - look at Rosie on the Jetsons (the robot maid - wasn't that her name?) - she still has facial expressions and body language. - your "touch screen" kind of has a face - the things on the side look like eyes - throw a mouth in there too on the inside area with all the dots and you've got yourself a character.
I've been hard at work on the ship variations, I'm still cleaning them up but I should be able to post it by Monday. I figured I was having a hard time with the interior design details because of the exterior's simplicity so I've been doing some exploration sketches and I think it's headed in a better direction. Hopefully I can nail this design down soon, I'm really psyched to start throwing colors on all these characters ;)