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Japanese engineers to build 60-foot Gundam robot

Published time: July 09, 2014 20:23
The 18-metre tall statue of popular TV animation hero Gundam is lit up during the opening ceremony at a Tokyo park. (AFP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno)

The 18-metre tall statue of popular TV animation hero Gundam is lit up during the opening ceremony at a Tokyo park. (AFP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Japanese engineers have unveiled plans to create a moving version of the world famous Gundam robot from the 'Mobile Suit Gundam' anime series. The 60-foot machine is expected to be operable by the 40th anniversary of the cartoon in 2019.

Five years ago, on the 30th anniversary of the anime series which first aired in Japan in 1979, enthusiasts erected a life-size statue of the robot in a Tokyo park.

Though the statue was welcomed by devoted fans of the cartoon, the prospect of the real thing is much more exciting – even if it won't be shooting a blaster or brandishing a sword.

“When I created Gundam 35 years ago, I used my imagination freely because it wasn't real,” Yoshiyuki Tomino told reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday, as quoted by AFP.

“That is what creativity is for – when you dream of something. Four decades later, Gundam is growing into something new,” Tomino said.

The team tasked with developing the Gundam robot has called on fans in Japan and elsewhere in the world to share useful ideas on how to make the creation as close to the sci-fi prototype as possible.

There are two distinct world leaders in modern robotic technology, namely Japan and the US.

Japanese engineers from major companies, including Toshiba, are competing to create robots that are capable of working in harsh environments, like the Toyota-built 13in (34cm) Kirobo robot currently operating at the International Space Station.

This handout photo taken on August 21, 2013 and released from 2013.KIBO-ROBOT on September 5, 2013 shows humanoid robot Kirobo 'speaking' in the International Space Station (ISS). (AFP Photo)

Meanwhile, engineers from NASA are also developing a walking human-like robot for space missions.

Screenshot from YouTube User IEEE Spectrum

Toshiba has also developed a four-legged robot to help engineers decommission the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Engineers inspect Toshiba's four-legged robot during a demonstration at Toshiba's technical center in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on November 21, 2012. (AFP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Japanese company Hitachi unveiled a remote-controlled robot also designed for work in radioactive areas such as Fukushima.

Screenshot from a video uploaded on YouTube by user Kazumichi Moriyama

Internet giant Google is also gearing up to sell a humanoid robot that can run, climb, and even drive a car.

Still from YouTube video by SCHAFT Inc.

Google has already announced that robots are likely to become the company’s major interest within the near future.

AILA, or Artificial Intelligence Lightweight Android, presses switches on a panel it recognizes during a demonstration at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH (AFP Photo / Carsten Koall)

American engineers are mostly interested in two areas in which robots could be useful: domestic service and warfare.

Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has reached unprecedented results in constructing humanoid robots for future military needs.

Screenshot from YouTube video by DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Some of DARPA's creations look and move in strikingly human-like ways.

Screenshot from youtube video by BostonDynamics

Still, modern technology has not yet reached a level to satisfy the demands of Hollywood filmmakers in creating robots like those in blockbuster films such as 'Transformers' or 'Pacific Rim' – but that's probably for the better.

Pacific Rim (2013) (Image from kinopoisk.ru)

Comments (16)

 

Ross Martin 11.07.2014 04:55

Fred Sleepwalker 10.07.2014 07:02

Giant waste of time, money, ressources on something completely pointless
The idea to rather use the ressources to help cleaning up theyr mess in Fukoshima seems to be the better choice imho.

  

[q uote name='David Smith' time='11.07.2014 01:12']Uh.. j a p a n.. you have multiple reactors leaking, endangering life as you know it. [/quote]
You realize this is a private enterprise that has nothing to do with the Japanese government? Unless you think the government should seize private assets by force or some other totalitarian nightmare

 

David Smith 11.07.2014 01:12

Uh.. j a p a n.. you have multiple reactors leaking, endangering life as you know it. Focus.. Focus on reality for a moment and use your money and brainpower fixing something that is destroying your country and people from the cellular level out.

 

Diomede Cassar 10.07.2014 22:37

You cannot imagine what's the plan of those who control & dupe us with their lie factory corporate media. Just read "Memorandum 200" by Dr Henry Kissinger of 1974 turned into US policy in 1976 & you'll get a clue. The ultimate aim: Extermination of three fourths of humanity & replacement with Robots to replace human work force. Conspiracy theory? Think twice: Look how robots have already taken over much of human toil in the past century. Look at the mass indoctrination campaign for the use of contraceptives, abortion, the promotion of homosexuality, not to mention genocidal wars & you'll see this plan in action.

View all comments (16)
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