This colossal Gundam robot, which is 60-ft tall, took its first steps in a test walk. The robot is expected to weigh 25 tons and has 24 degrees of freedom once it’s complete. (Image Credit: Gundam Factory Yokohama)

 

Since January, Japan’s engineers have been building an enormous 60-foot Gundam robot based on the popular sci-fi franchise. The port of Yokohama is playing host the robot for a full year. With 24 degrees of freedom, it’s the most advanced full-size Gundam robot ever built. 

 

Even though the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the construction of the robot, it appears that the Gundam project is underway. Despite its missing head, the robot is still able to take a few steps, as shown in a YouTube video uploaded by Michael Overstreet. However, the video seems to be sped up, so it’s not clear how long the entire walk took. Gundam isn’t putting any weight on the right leg while it’s being lifted, which could only mean this was a test for future walks.

 

Workers on a crane can also be seen touching up the robot as it lifts and puts down its legs and rotates its gigantic torso.  The area where the workers designed, build and assembled Gundam can be seen in another video.

 

Once complete, the entire robot is expected to weigh 25 tons and feature 24 degrees of freedom, enabling it to walk just about anywhere. This seems to be pretty lightweight, considering it could have been heavier. The Gundam robot will also contain hands with fully-articulated fingers and thumbs. A hand, from fingertip to wrist, measures about 6.5 feet.

 

When designing Gundam, the team took the types of motors and materials into special consideration because one hand could have weighed up to 1,300 pounds.

 

The team is also using the open-source Robot Operating System and Gazebo simulation software to develop the robot. Additionally, they plan on releasing a virtual copy of the Gundam robot for programmers to play with, allowing them to create their own actions and poses. It includes representations of the motors, gears and sensors used on the real-life robot.

 

Gundam Factory Yokohama updated its website, stating that the special preview event has been canceled because of the pandemic. It was originally supposed to take place in July. Additionally, the robot was meant to be available for public viewing in October, but that was also postponed.

 

 

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