In what is probably a great leap for technology but a horrifying development for humanity, a 60-foot Japanese robot can now move around on its own.
After seeing everything 2020 has thrown at us already, we probably shouldn’t have tempted fate and created a giant being that could potentially kill dozens of people with one footstep – but here we are.
Construction of the robot began in January, and after making a wobbly attempt at its first steps earlier this month, it can now move unaided.
Check out footage of the giant machine, sped up at four times speed, below:
The creation has been built in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, and was inspired by the popular Gundam robot that was introduced in 1979 in Yoshiyuki Tomino’s and Sunrise’s anime series Mobile Suit Gundam. It weighs a whopping 25 tonnes, with each of its 6.5-foot long hands weighing 1,300 pounds alone.
After months of work, the RX-78 Gundam mecha can now stand, kneel, turn its head and point to the sky. At this point, we can only hope that its kneeling is a sign of respect for its human overlords, and that it isn’t pointing up at any space-dwelling robots that are lying in wait to invade us.
The robot moves slowly and deliberately, and has perfect control over its legs as well as its intricate hands and fingers. Its sheer scale is demonstrated in another clip where construction workers can be seen alongside it, and the robot turns its head and opens its eyes to look at them.
Members of the public were set to get a closer look at the robot at the Gundam Factory amusement park, which was scheduled to open in October but has been delayed indefinitely due to the ongoing health crisis. The RX-78 Gundam model will now remain at the Port of Yokohama, where it is currently being held, for about a year.
A statement on the factory’s website reads:
This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of our fans and employees in response to the worldwide spread of COVID-19. We apologize to all of our fans who were looking forward to our grand opening and ask for your understanding.
In the meantime, we will be making preparations so that all of our visitors can enjoy themselves in safety.
Mobile Suit Gundam has been likened to Transformers and Power Rangers, with several different iterations being made following the release of the original series. Statues of the character can be seen around Japan, though the RX-78 is the first to move.
Here’s hoping the robot doesn’t use its new moves against us!
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