One of my earliest original designs, this model was built in Cinema4D SE back when I was still using an Amiga, before I ever bought my first PC. It wouldn't be too hard to build now on my current computer with a more powerful version of C4D but back then it took me a lot of work and I am still pleased with the model today. It doesn't come from any particular source, I just wanted to build an organic looking machine and simply played around with shapes in C4D until I got something I liked, there is a definite helicopter influence though.
2014 update, this is the latest render of this scene, larger and with many of the textures redone to take advantage of improvements in the software since the scene was originally created.
How are they made? What planet is that? What are the floating, bouy things? I don't know and I don't really care, I just let my imagination go where it wanted to.