This one is for all of us nerds out there. Those of you who grew up watching Voltron, Mobile Suit Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Space Runaway Ideon, Robotech, or any other animated show with giant robots, you’re about to geek-out. Since the commercial success of Star Wars, we’ve gotten to see a whole new world of robots in animation, creating the popular genre of mecha television. And about forty years later these giant robots are making their debut into the real world. I mean, who doesn’t want to ride in a giant robot? Japanese engineer Masaaki Nagumo has dreamed of it since he was a child, along with every IT guy in existence. But Nagumo is now the creator a 28-foot-tall, 7-ton robot based off of his favorite childhood show, Mobile Suit Gundam. Fully equipped with a cockpit and a spongeball-launcher, this robot is ready for action. Well, maybe not, because it moves at a speed of 0.6 miles per hour and is too big to leave the building it currently resides in. But it’s MECHA cool nonetheless.
A Dream Come True
Masaaki Nagumo works for a farming machinery company, Sakakibara Kikai, and he used much of the same technology to create this giant robot. But this isn’t just some expensive hobby. Nagumo believes this endeavor to be a business opportunity, and he currently rents out his other amusement robots for kids’ birthday parties, nerd gatherings, and other geeky events. Don’t be fooled by the slow pace of this robot though, because it makes up with its 87 mile per hour spongeball air gun. Plus, it is much more dexterous than most of Nagumo’s prior robots. This robot has the capability to move its fingers, turn its upper body, and walk back and forth! We are aware that may not seem as cool as it sounds, so what if there were giant robots that fought each other? Because there are!
Robot Fight Club
Megabots “crowdfunded the first ever giant mech battle” and it was dope. This company has taken literary/animated works of science fiction and put them into the real world. But these robots are a bit more heavy duty than Nagumo’s Gundam robot. Megabot’s Mark II can shoot three-pound cannon balls at speeds 100 miles per hour and above. But they’re not the only ones who can. Suidobashi Heavy Industries created Kuratas, which is equipped with complex guns and advanced targeting systems. Believing them to be a worthy adversary, Megabot invited Suidobashi Heavy Industries to join them in an epic robot duel, and this is it.
The giant, metal robots we’ve seen flying across our television screens for years are far from reality, but researchers are getting closer to figuring it out. The most significant issue to develop these robots is finding the right building materials, because they must be strong enough to allow for the robots to be dexterous without being too heavy. To get the proportions right, height, weight, and size all have to mesh with each other perfectly, otherwise we’ll just have some super fun sitting robots. With how much time, money, and research these giant robots require, it’s not surprising that most people stick to buying action figures and collectible models. The time will come when we can one day form Voltron. Until then, we’ll just have to sit back, relax, and watch our favorite robots on TV.