The robot, METHOD-1, was built by Korea Future Technology and former Starcraft artist Burlgarov. This isn’t a scene from a movie. This is a robot built by a South Korean company. (via Korea Future Technology)
It’s no surprise to see robots that can walk, talk, or do just about anything thanks to the popularity of the robotics field. But this latest robot built by a South Korean company is something you think would only be seen in a video game. And that’s exactly where the inspiration came from. Korea Future Technology recently unveiled its METHOD-1 mecha. The robot is bipedal, fully articulated, can actually move around, and even has room for a human pilot.
With a robot this big, you’d expect to be a bit clunky. While it’s not perfect, its range of movements is pretty impressive. With support from rotating ankle joints, the mech can shift its weight from side to side. This small feature could give it the ability to take on tough terrain once the model is finished. The arms are controlled by the pilot inside – METHOD 1 copies its arm motions from what it detects in the cockpit. It even has individual fingers giving the edge it needs to take on delicate tasks.
Though it looks like something Ridley would ride around in during Aliens, the inspiration for the design came from former Starcraft artists Vitaly Bulgarov, who helped design the robot. Burgarov has some impressive credentials. His work can be found in Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft, Diablo III, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Terminator Genisys. The artist has been working with the Korean company on this project since 2014.
While the internet is enamored with this bot, Live Science isn’t so taken. They actually question whether the bot is real at all. They report Burlgarov never provided any names of the inventors or people behind the Korean company. And when they tried to visit the website that’s supposed to be associated with the company, they hit a dead end. Calls to the company and those associated with it have gone unreturned. They also question the technology behind METHOD-1 saying bipedal robots by Boston Dynamics are often more graceful than this mech. Read more about their investigation here.
Still, the mech is pretty cool. METHOD-1 looks like straight out of a movie and something only a little kid would dream up because, I mean, robots are cool. So, what is this giant robot being built? Is it something strictly for the military? No. It’s being built for the fun of it. The end goal of this collaboration is to get the mech up and running. They do want to see which scenarios are more properly suited for the robot and which parts of its tech are more useful than others, but it’s not trying to solve any real world issues.
Just because there’s no big goal in mind doesn’t mean it couldn’t help in certain situations. A big robot like this could be used for rescue work, construction, demolitions, or even tasks as big as space exploration and deep sea searching. And let’s not forget the entertainment industry. While it’s easy to come up with giant robots thanks to CG, it would be more impressive and stunning to see a real live giant mech at work. What movie going audience wouldn’t pay to see that? If these two can get METHOD-1 fully functioning, it can be groundbreaking for the robotics field.
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