Japan’s real life 4 meter tall robot project (the one by Hajime Sakamoto, not to be confused with the KURATAS) was demonstrated live this weekend at a Monozukuri festival. Monozukuri is a term which translates along the lines of “crafting things” or “manufacturing”. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, Hajime Sakamoto has been crafting humanoid robots for many years. His smaller robots are the preferred platform by RoboCup soccer teams from Japan and Germany. His stated goal is to one day build a working version of the Gundam mobile suits.
For the uninitiated, Gundam is a long-running animated television series that is as popular in Japan as Star Wars is in the United States. The stories, which have mesmerized viewers for more than 30 years, revolve around military conflicts between Earth and its interplanetary colonies. The stars of the show are often the pilots of the mobile suits, which supplement the armies’ fleet of space ships. In recent years the series has been celebrated with a life-sized statue of its titular robot, but Sakamoto won’t be satisfied until he sees one walking. That’s where the 4 meter robot steps into the picture.
As you can see in the video, the legs have been completed and are able to balance with one foot off the ground. There are plans to give it an upper-body, complete with enclosed cockpit and arms, and, should he acquire the necessary funding, Sakamoto plans to build even bigger versions in the future. Now that’d be a kickstarter project worth funding!