A Japanese roboticist plans to build a 13-foot-high Gundam clone (and wants to take it one further and build a six-storey version!)
[Takayuki Furuta,] the director of the Future Robotics Technology Center in Chiba, Japan, figured out how to make a real-life, six-story-tall Gundam, the classic battle robot from Japanese anime. He ran computer models on every aspect of the bot to determine what parts he would need to power and control the beast. Then he surfed electronics and industry-equipment catalogs to find the components. The result: a complete blueprint for a $742 million bot. By showing how the anime fixture can actually be built, he hopes to get schoolkids fired up about robotics. Well, that and he actually intends to build one. A 60-foot-tall robot may not be financially feasible, Furuta says, but he's going to try making a version that could be as tall as 13 feet. He aims to have it working by 2011, when, ideally, someone will have created something for it to fight.