Japan is known for many things ranging from food to anime to, of course, robots. And not just the industrial or cutesy kind, mind, but the fictional ones that come to save the day or play. Of all the robots that the country’s creative minds have produced, Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Gundam has achieved the widest renown and the most number of recreations. The most ambitious one yet is coming later this year in Yokohama, featuring a 60-foot tall Gundam robot that will be able to walk.
OK, maybe “walk” is a bit of an exaggeration. Considering how the model is expected to weigh 25 tons, shuffling its feet a bit might be the most it’ll be able to do. That alone is probably enough for it to draw in not just fans but also curious onlookers who’ll probably look on from a safe distance. After all, it’s hard to miss a robot that gigantic.
This life-size RX-78-2, the very first Gundam in the long-running franchise, is being made by Gundam Factory Yokohama, which is literally a Gundam factory in Yokohama. Designer Masaki Kawahara, who has already designed three other giant Gundam for the public eye, is once again at the helm. This, however, is the first that will be given 24 degrees of freedom, allowing it to move just a wee bit.
The robot won’t be the only engineering and manufacturing challenges as a Gundam Carrier is also being constructed with it. The support system will supposedly move the Gundam in and out of its gigantic Gundam Dock structure and possibly provide power while the robot takes a few steps forward and back. The factory has produced a 1/30 model of the project, including 1/30-scale humans to give some perspective on how massive this undertaking will be.
This ambitious and perhaps historic Gundam recreation is far from being half-done, which makes the October 2020 target date seem perhaps too optimistic. Visitors will be able to view the Gundam in limited motion until October 3, 2021, though what will happen to the robot after that is still unknown.