Anyone who has ever watched the anime series Gundam has dreamed of piloting their very own giant robot, or mech suit. If anime isn’t really your jam than you may have had the same thought when watching Pacific Rim or Avatar, both of which feature humans piloting giant robots capable of fantastic feats.
And now that thought may soon come to fruition. Korean tech company Hankook Mirae has built a functional prototype of a real-life, human-piloted giant robot, the first of its kind in the entire world.
Dubbed the Method-2, the gigantic robotic suit stands 13 feet tall and weighs a whopping 1.3 tons, not including the human pilot, who can climb into a small cockpit and operate the machine. Once inside, the pilot can direct the machine to walk or control both of its metal, motion-tracking arms, which weigh a combined total of 286 pounds.
Basically, the Method-2 looks almost exactly like a mech suit you’d see in a movie, TV show, or cartoon. It’s actually somewhat surreal.
“Our robot is the world’s first manned bipedal robot and is built to work in extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go (unprotected),” said company chairman Yang Jin-Ho in an interview with Phys.org.
Yang has poured over $200 million into the Method-2, a machine even he admits would formerly seem possible only in a fictional universe.
But you’ll still be waiting a while before you see a Method-2 defusing a bomb or rescuing victims of a natural disaster. The robotic suit still has a fairly large design flaw: it must be attached to a power source to function.
This currently limits the Method-2’s ability to travel long distances. Hankook Mirae believes a “tethered robotic platform” could provide a temporary fix, which would provide an energy source for the suit in proximity to its working area.
The company projects the Method-2 project will be completed by the end of 2017, and sold at a price of $8.3 million.
And if you’ve been looking at the Method-2 and thought “wow, that really does look like something from the movies,” there’s a reason for that. One of the project’s designers is Vitaly Bulgarov, a seasoned SFX technician who has worked on such series as Transformers, Terminator, and Robocop.
Bulgarov also offered the most recent look at the Method-2 in action, posting a video of a trial run of the mech suit on Facebook. You can check it out below.
Featured image courtesy of: Hankook Mirae Technology