South Korean Mech Takes Its First, Earth-Shaking Steps

By Carl Engelking | December 28, 2016 12:11 pm
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Yang Jin-Ho demonstrates the Method-2 robot. (Credit: Getty)

In the popular video game MechWarrior, towering robots called BattleMechs dominate 31st-century battlefields.

Back here in the 21st century, Yang Jin-Ho, CEO of South Korean robotics firm Hankook Mirae Technology, took the first baby steps inside his 13-foot-tall, 1.5-ton, manned bipedal robot called Method-2. According to reports, the thing shakes the ground with every step.

The 31st century doesn’t seem so far away.

Back in 2014, Jin-Ho did what any millionaire sci-fi devotee would do: spend $200 million to build a giant, piloted robot. To pull it all together, Jin-Ho partnered with Hollywood special effects veteran Vitaly Bulgarov, whose cinematic ventures into robotics include Terminator, Robocop and Transformers.

To control the robot, the pilot simply moves their arms and Method-2 mimics the motions with its 286-pound limbs. “Our robot is the world’s first manned bipedal robot and is built to work in extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go (unprotected),” Jin-Ho told The Telegraph Tuesday.

Method-2, as you can tell, is still a bit clumsy—it’s still tethered power cable—but all the research that went into building it will reap tangential benefits for the company, Jin-Ho said. The team of 30 engineers plans to improve Method-2’s coordination and power systems over the next few years, and Jin-Ho says it could be ready for sale by the end of 2017 — for $8.3 million.

According to The Telegraph, Jin-Ho has already received inquiries about the technology from players in manufacturing and entertainment industries.

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  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    Aliens, Ripley in the loader. The Matrix Revolutions, Yotube v=jk3Z-MVoUg4. Avatar and mobile infantry. Nice. Use aluminum or titanium alloy to drop the weight. I’d go for a lower center of mass, too, then visit an IRS office.

    In steel on a battlefield, counter with paintball guns shooting partitioned quickset epoxy, acrylic, or polyurethane, perhaps with fine Carborundum grit filler. If in aluminum or titanium, jacketed gallium bullets and hang on a day. Or go for the faceplate with jacketed (spare the gun barrel) solid Kennametal .223 or larger. A .50 caliber Model 82A1 Barrett shooting carbide might not bring down Superman, but it would get his attention. Any self-forging munition, long rod penetrator, or shoulder-launched Monroe effect will do.

    Footnotes aside, Adam Savage suddenly knows lust.

    • Yaakov

      Dude! Chill! Do we have some rage that needs dissipating? ☺. What about off planet exploring. What about hazardous waste cleanup.

      • Mr Penguin (EleroGames)

        A mech can definitely be built to block radiation and intense heat (Space ships do the exact same thing with special materials).I think increasing the mass and giving it a internal power supply is important, a robot that can barely move without being drained is pointless for actual use

  • Kornea

    This is amazing technology. It looks like the robots at Avatar movie.

  • Monk of War

    While the closest science fiction vehicle this resembles is the AMP from Avatar, the other analogue would be the e-frames from the 1993 animation Exosquad.

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