Check Out the Real-Life Mech Designed by the Artist From 'Terminator' and 'Robocop'

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 - 11:11AM
Technology
Robotics
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 - 11:11AM
Check Out the Real-Life Mech Designed by the Artist From 'Terminator' and 'Robocop'
Image credit: Hankook-Mirae, Very Dicey
Oscar Wilde once said that "life imitates art far more than art imitates life," but even he couldn't have predicted just how far nerds would go to turn the coolest sci-fi concepts into reality. Like the rest of us, Jin-Ho Yang, the CEO of the South Korean company Hankook Mirae Technology, was a big fan of pop culture that featured large, advanced robots as a kid and carried that love into adulthood, but he was not content with leaving the futuristic tech in the future. Back in 2014, Jin-Ho began working with industrial designer Vitaly Bulgarov on a giant bot that could be piloted from the inside. Fast forward to present day, and in stomps the Method-2.



According to the inventors, Method-2 is the first "manned bipedal robot capable of moving 1.5 tonnes while synchronously translating the movements of its pilot." It's design is familiar: two beefy aluminum legs with numerous rotating joints, two jacked arms with impressive 300-lb fists, lots of probably important cables, and a pod torso where the human sits and controls the mech, minus the Pacific Rim neural link. Bulgarov is one of the brains behind the intricate concept designs for films like Robocop (2014), Terminator: Genisys, and Transformers 4 : Age Of Extinction, so it's not hard to see why Jin-Ho chose him for the project, but don't expect Method-2 to be used in hand-to-hand combat (a la Avatar) or to be weaponized (a la Titanfall) anytime soon.

Standing 13 feet tall and weighing 1.5 tons, Method-2 is both massive and heavy, which obviously affects its speed. It clocks in at just under 1 MPH while walking, so battle is out of the question. The movement of the legs is not exactly fluid, but those who have tested it out while tethered in the factory say that it feels sturdy and stable. Weight distribution is to thank for the awkward baby waddle, but the fact that the thing can move at all is a feat worth applauding. Oh and did we mention it cost around $8 million to make? That's a lot of scratch to feel like Ripley in the Power Loader for a few hours (the life of the proposed high-performance battery), but Jin-Ho and Hankook Mirae Technology hope to use Method-2 for more practical jobs, like clearing nuclear waste at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

If a kaiju does end up coming out of the sea to attack Japan, at least Method-2 will have some backup: the robot designers at Suidobashi have already created a battle-ready bot to duel the American company MegaBots this year.
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