Date: 20 December 2016 17:34
A 13-foot tall robot that walks like a human, making the ground around it shake, could soon become a reality. Seoul-based robotics company 'Korea Future Technology' has completed the first tests of its giant human-like robot, called METHOD-1. The robot, which has been developed in secret for two years, walks by mimicking the actions of its pilot sitting inside.
Resembling the giant machines that appeared in the 2009 film Avatar and the power loader from the 1986 film Aliens, the robot was the creation of Vitaly Bulgarov, a designer who has previously worked on sci-fi fims including the 2014 remake of Robocop, Transformers 4.
But now his work has moved from fiction into real life. 'I'm excited to share some updates and work-in-progress motion tests for the 4m [13 foot] tall, 1.5t heavy manned robot I have been working on with a Seoul based robotics company, Korea Future Technology,' Mr Bulgarov wrote on his Facebook page.
The robot is so heavy that it makes the ground around it shake when it takes steps, Mr Bulgarov said. The designer has also revealed details of what the final robot will be made of, including carbon fibre for its legs. But he has remained ambiguous about what the purpose of the robot will be in the future.
'From a mechanical/software/hardware/electric engineering stand point it was quite an ambitious project that required developing and enhancing a lot of technologies along the way,' he said.
'That growth opens up many real world applications where everything we have been learning so far on this robot can be applied to solve real world problems. 'One of such projects is already in development, but I'm not allowed to say more at this moment.'
METHOD-1 started as a project by Korea Future Technology in 2014, and an early prototype of the robot was released in November last year.
'The plan is to build a reliable robotic platform that can be used effectively in various utilitarian applications,' Mr Bulgarov said at the time.
'When an ambitious Seoul based robotics team “Korea Future Technology” invited me to join the company as their designer of a large man-controlled robot it took me some time to realize that they were actually serious about it,' he said.