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SYFY WIRE robots

Humongous headless mecha takes a tentative first step

By Jeff Spry
Gundam walk

The first steps of life can be a fragile moment for most creatures, but when you're a gargantuan Japanese mecha machine lurching forward out of its birth cradle, it can be a breathless moment to experience.

Engineers in Japan have been diligently constructing a 60-foot-tall robot patterned after the armored enforcers seen in the popular Gundam anime and toy franchise, and while manufacturing has slowed to a crawl due to the ongoing pandemic, there have been significant advancements in its completion process.

This RX-78 Gundam demonstration video finds our iron giant missing his head, but that doesn't stop the towering creation from coming alive to raise its right leg and bow honorably in anticipation of a first step into a larger world outside the comforts of its steel scaffolding crib.

Once totally finished and sporting a fully-functional head unit, this menacing machine will tip the scales at 25 tons and have 24 degrees of complete free motion, allowing it to stride down the boulevard on its own enveloped in a storm of curious (or terrified) stares.

It's also being equipped with 6.5-foot hands engineered with articulated fingers and thumbs to tightly grasp evil supervillains bent on world domination.

Head of Design Jun Narita considers the restrictions on weight to be like a curse, explaining that special considerations on the types of light-weight materials used had to be considered since one monstrous hand could easily weight close to 1,300 pounds.


Technicians at Gundam Factory Yokohama were hoping to host a grand unveiling event later this July, however plans were scrapped in the turmoil surrounding continuing international coronavirus restrictions and safeguards. It's now slated for an October 2020 coming out party!

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