Gundam Robots in Real Life

January 10, 2017 2017年1月10日
A conceptual sketch by designer Vitaly Bulgarov / 来自Vitaly Bulgarov的概念草稿

Like something straight out of science fiction, a gigantic humanoid robot has recently been unveiled by the South Korean company Hankook Mirae Technology. Dubbed as the Method-2, the current iteration of this larger-than-life bipedal mech suit is a collaborative project between Moldovan designer Vitaly Bulgarov and the mysterious South Korean robotics company.

韩国韩泰未来科技公司最近推出了一个巨型的人形机甲,看上去就像是从科幻小说里走出来的一样。这个代号为Method-2的巨型双足机甲是摩尔多瓦设计师Vitaly Bulgarov和这家神秘的韩国机器人研发公司之间的一个合作项目。

Large robots piloted by a human isn’t a new concept, at least in popular sci-fi shows and films. They’ve appeared in Japanese animes, such as Gundam , in the form of combat-ready mobile suits; in the video game series Metal Gear as weaponized bipedal tanks with nuclear weaponry, which often appear as the final boss; and more recently, in Western movies like Pacific Rim where the humanoid mechs are used to combat kaiju, or monsters, that emerge from the sea.


Unlike the robots depicted in many of these sci-fi movies and games, Hankook’s 13-foot-tall robot isn’t intended for military use. In the short term, the robot has been envisioned for industrial applications where it can remain tethered to a power source. It’s even said that they plan to release an alternate version of the robot, with only torso and arms on a wheeled foundation, to assist in cleanup at the Fukushima disaster site.


Video Courtesy of Vitaly Bulgarov


A scientist at work inside the Hankook Mirae Technology robotics lab
A group of scientists at Hankook Mirae Technology fine-tuning a robotic joint

Robotics experts have expressed skepticism towards the authenticity of the entire project, citing a combination of many reasons: Bulgarov’s background with working in Hollywood blockbusters, such as the upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie that takes place in a post-cyberpunk world with a cyborg protagonist; the immaculately clean state of Hankook Mirae’s robotics laboratory, as seen in their newly released photos; the sloppily leaked images and videos, which initially only appeared on Bulgarov’s personal social media; and the mysterious nature of Hankook Mirae Technology, a company that didn’t even have a website or any web presence until just recently are just a few of the eyebrow-raising issues that have been pointed out over the last few weeks.

有机器人专家对整个项目的真实性持怀疑态度,并列举了很多原因:首先,设计师 Vitaly Bulgarov 参与了好莱坞电影拍摄的工作,譬如即将上映的电影《攻壳机动队》,这部电影讲述了一个发生在后赛博朋克(post-cyberpunk)世界的故事,主人公是一个半人类半机械的改造人;其次,在韩泰未来科技公司新发布的照片中可以看出,这家公司的机器人实验室竟然干净得一尘不染;还有,那些随意泄露的照片和视频。在最初,这些照片只出现在 Bulgarov 的个人社交媒体上;最后是韩泰未来科技公司的神秘背景,这一家公司直到最近才慢慢出现在互联网上并建立属于自己的网站。在过去的几个星期里,对于这个人型机甲,外界类似上面这样的质疑还有很多。

Photo of an earlier prototype from inside Hankook Mirae Technology
A pilot inside the cockpit of a shell-less robot suit at Hankook Mirae Technology

Bulgarov has insisted these robots are authentic while Hankook Mirae Technology has remained silent, unresponsive to our media inquiry. Whether these robot-powered suits are real or an elaborate hoax remains to be seen. Either way, Bulgarov’s conceptual 3-D sketches are quite impressive to look at.

Bulgarov 一直坚称那些都是真真正正的机器人,而韩国韩泰未来科技公司则一直对此保持沉默,也未接受我们的媒体访问。至于这些人形机甲到底是真实存在,还是只是一个精心设计的骗局,让我们拭目以待。无论怎样,Bulgarov的3D概念草图看上去仍然很震撼人心。




Contributor: David Yen
Video & Images Courtesy of Vitaly Bulgarov




供稿人: David Yen
视频与图片由Vitaly Bulgarov提供