Avatar-Style Manned Robot Takes First Steps In South Korea

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ValueWalk: A robot designed by a veteran of science fiction blockbusters which bear a striking resemblance to the military robots seen in the movie Avatar has taken its first baby steps. The robot standing in a room on the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea stands four meters (13 feet) tall and weighs 1.5 tons. In a Facebook post, designer Vitaly Bulgarov said, “Everything we have been learning so far on this robot can be applied to solve real-world problems.” His previous work experience includes work on film series such as Transformers, Terminator and Robocop, reports phys.org. Its creators at the Hankook Mirae Technology, a robotics company in South Korea, claim it is the world’s first. About 30 engineers there worked hard conducting initial tests Tuesday afternoon, notes phys.org. For the engineers, it was a challenge to build the giant robot because the unprecedented scale meant they had nothing to refer to. Company chairman Yang Jin-Ho said, “Our robot is the world’s first manned bipedal robot and is built to work in extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go (unprotected).” A pilot sitting inside the robot’s torso made some limb movements, and the robot, Method-2, mimicked them with his metal arms, each weighing 130 kilograms (286 pounds). It is so huge that it is twice the size of a tall man, and when it takes a step, the ground shakes with a loud whirring of motors. Method-2 has grabbed the media’s attention due to its enormous size, but its creators say that the core achievement of the project is the technology they developed. How the robot will be used is unclear so far, but it is seen more as a test-bed for various technologies that will make it possible for the creators to build robots of any type and size in the future, notes phys.org.

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