Japan has built a huge, working Gundam prototype.
Japan isn’t worried about the space race, but more about the giant mech-battle race. Which may not be a real race, but Japan’s surely winning it. While most of the world is working on renewable resources, vaccines, and new ways to serve a cheeseburger, the folks in Japan are working on an actual Gundam robot that stands several stories tall.
2020 just got awesome.
The robot, as you can see, isn’t moving that fast and nor is it able to launch into space like the Gundam anime’s have depicted (yet) but it is a sign that should a real-life Godzilla/Cloverfield arrive to start rampaging, we know the Japanese are only a few years from a viable defensive against a larch attack.
Kaiju’s, be aware.
Interest in robots has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2015 a US-based group of engineers challenged a Japanese contingent to a giant-robot battle. The event happened in 2017 and while it was slow and prodding, was still entertaining. The US team won, by the way.
Yes, their robot was a giant eagle.
Robot battles have been a large part of the science world for the last two decades, and there’s really been a strong subculture of the events. Shows like BattleBots have been around for over 20 years (with nine seasons), and really helped cultivate a desire to see robots fighting. Shows like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory also had robot-fighting-themes in an episode or two, with movies like Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman, bringing back the idea of big robots fighting.
Shows like Gundam and movies like Pacific Rim have also been steady suppliers for late-night, giant robot-battles as well. While we’re far off from watching two, 10 story tall robots fighting it out, if you’re a science nerd or someone into robot battles, this story of a walking Gundam should be right up your ally.