Yokohama Gundam Takes First Steps

Credit: Gundaminfo

We’re one step closer to real giant robots.

I am just so gosh darned disappointed that it’s already 2020 and we don’t have bipedal giant robots. Heck, we don’t even have hoverboards. No, the little two-wheel things don’t count. Obviously, giant walking robots aren’t at the top of any country’s priorities, but luckily, there will always be a cabal of anime fans somewhere in the world trying to make our collective dream a reality. While it’s not quite real just yet, some mad men in Yokohama, Japan have made some impressive progress.

After six years of exceptionally hard work, engineers have created a life-sized replica of the original RX-78 mecha from the classic anime, Mobile Suit Gundam. This bad boy stands at a commanding 18 meters tall (about 59 feet) and weighs a mighty 25 tonnes (about 55,000 pounds). Life-sized Gundam replicas are nothing new, with one of the most famous being the life-sized Unicorn Gundam statue in front of the DiverCity Tokyo Plaza in, well, Tokyo. The big difference is that this new model is not just a statue: it can walk.

As we can see in footage released a couple of days ago, the new Gundam is capable of walking, kneeling, raising its arms, and even moving its fingers, though, full disclosure, the footage is sped up, so the real thing isn’t quite as fast. Each of the machine’s 24 interlocking pieces have been carefully measured and weighed to ensure none of them buckle under their own weight. Whenever it’s completely finished, it will be the new centerpiece of the Gundam Factory Yokohama, though proceedings have sadly been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The engineers are hoping to have the machine finished before the end of the year.

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