Gundam robot can now move its arms and legs

The well-known manga, or comics, and anime, their cinematographic transposition, are part of the enormous cultural and social heritage of Japan. In fact, there are museums, shops and neighbourhoods dedicated to this art. 

In Japan, this literary genre is aimed not only at children and young people, but also at adults and there are in fact different types of manga: the Kodomo manga is aimed at children; the Shonen manga is for young boys aged 12 to 18, whereas the Shoujo manga is for girls; instead, the Josei manga is dedicated to working women over the age of 20 and the Seinen manga is aimed at men from 18 to 30 years old. 

In recent years, many robots have also been created to represent the protagonists of these comics. In 2014 a team of Japanese engineers started a rather demanding project, it is the realization of the 1:1 scale replica of the famous RX-78-2 Gundam robot of the anime television series “Mobile suite Gundam” of 1979, in which the protagonists are giant robots controlled by humans placed inside them. 

Currently, the robot is located in Yokohama port and its real size is really enormous, Gundam is 18 meters high and its weight reaches 25 tons. The movable frame of the structure is made of maple wood, whereas  the exteriors are made of carbon resin. The android, unlike its television twin, is a remote-controlled giant. Gundam has passed the first mobility tests and is now able to move its arms and fingers and can walk and kneel down. 

The Tokyo Olympic Games would have been the springboard to present the new Gundam project to the whole world, but the global pandemic has changed all the plans. The engineering giant will thus be the highlight and the main attraction of the “Gundam Factory Yokohama”, an exhibition area dedicated to the robot. The complex offers two different zones: the Gundam-Lab explains the robot history and it is created for entertainment, it includes also cafes and shops and the Gundam-Dock, the heart of the tourist area, where visitors will have the chance to get a close-up view of Gundam. 

Last August, an important ceremony was held to show the moment when the robotic head was secured to the giant. In the coming months, the engineering team will carry out some tests to see if Gundam will be able to move semi-autonomously without the support of its base. 

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