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Hankook Mirae Technology's Gundam Is First Manned Robot

Image: Hankook Mirae Technology's Gundam Is First Manned Robot

Engineers test a humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, on December 27, 2016. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 09:20 AM

Hankook Mirae Technology's Gundam-type suit is being called the world's first manned walking robot, resembling the military robots from the hit movie "Avatar."

The suit, also compared to the Mobile Suit Gundam Japanese animation series, weighs 1.5 tons, is about 13 feet tall and is piloted by a human inside the robot's torso, the website Phys.org reported.

"Our robot is the world's first manned bipedal robot and is built to work in extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go (unprotected)," Yang Jin-Ho, chairman of the South Korean robotics company said about the robot, called Method-2, Phys.org reported.

The robot was designed by Vitaly Bulgarov, who had previously worked on films like "Transformers," "Robocop," and "Terminator."

He shared some photos and videos of the work with the robot company on Facebook this month.

"I feel very lucky to be working with the incredible team over at Hankook Mirae Technology … and can't wait to share with you guys the updates for the upcoming projects in 2017," Bulgarov said in one Facebook post.

Bulgarov said on Facebook that a short-term goal for the company is developing robotic platforms for industrial areas where tethering it for power would not be needed.

"Another short-term real world application includes mounting only the top part of the robot on a larger wheeled platform solving the problem of locomotion through an uneven terrain as well as providing enough room for sufficient power source," Bulgarov said in the post. "A modified version of that is already in development and is planned to help in restoration of Fukushima disaster area. Stay tuned for more updates."

Engadget writer Andrew Tarantola reported that the hulking Method-2 robot will be used to serve as a testing ground for emerging technologies for now instead of being sent into the field.

"Future iterations, however, could find use in everything from construction and cargo loading to military and (search and rescue) operations," Tarantola wrote.

Yang said the robot needs more work on its balance and power systems, but still could be ready for sale by the end of next year for about $8.3 million, according to Phys.org.

"The robot is one year old so it is taking baby steps," Yang said, according to Phys.org. "Just like humans, it will be able to move more freely in the next couple of years."

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Hankook Mirae Technology's Gundam-type suit is being called the world's first manned walking robot, resembling the military robots from the hit movie "Avatar."
hankook, mirae, technology, gundam, robot
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2016-20-28
Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 09:20 AM
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