Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Japanese engineers won't let a pandemic stop them from completing a giant, real-life Gundam

Illustration for article titled Japanese engineers wont let a pandemic stop them from completing a giant, real-life Gundam
Screenshot: Michael Overstreet

The engineers at Gundam Factory Yokohama had the dream of building a giant walking robot and nothing—not even a pandemic—can stop them from realizing it. Their sights set on no less a task than turning a Gundam mech from the long-running science fiction anime franchise into a hulking, deeply impractical reality, these mad scientists have pressed on through the darkest of days. And now, thanks to their determination to give a battered world a way-too-big cartoon robot that can walk around just being cool as hell, their work is almost complete.


A recent Popular Mechanics article checked in on the project, letting us know that the Gundam Factory Yokohama team are planning to reveal the full glory of their roughly 60-feet tall robot on October 1st of this year. If this seems unrealistic, consider a video from earlier this month that shows the overgrown (currently headless) action figure taking its first, tentative steps like some towering metal baby.

The group has been working on their Gundam since January at a site in Yokohama, Japan, where it stands ready to grab our tiny hands and walk with us into our mecha future this fall. “Once finished, the robot will feature an incredible 24 degrees of freedom, meaning this thing will be able to walk.” the article says. It will also “weigh in at about 25 tons,” which is actually fairly light for a 60-foot robot. More important than any technical specification is the simple fact fact that it will be a building-sized robot that, as the above video shows, will be capable of walking, kicking its legs, and turning its colorful torso around to glare at passing aircraft.


For more updates on the project, check out a playlist of YouTube videos that document Gundam Factory Yokohama’s work. Failing that, we suppose we’ll all know the team’s work is done once we start hearing the thunderous steps of the robot itself as it strides across the world like some terrible giant from myth, borne into reality thanks to the tireless efforts of really smart people who really love mecha anime.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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