The dream of thousands of kids has been fulfilled. Gundam, the robot protagonist of the 80's cartoons was made in full scale in all its might. It is a gigantic robot of 18 meters whose construction has engaged a team of experts since 2009. Among these there is also the JSK Lab of the University of Tokyo which has created a scale model made available to the Gundam exhibition area. Factory.
In recent days Gundam has taken its first steps under the astonished eyes of the spectators. The development of the project was carried out in the GUNDAM Factory, in the port of Yokohoama.
Some technical features
The full-size Gundam weighs 25 tons and is 18 meters tall. Its 18 joints, positioned on the entire figure, allow it to have a total of 24 degrees of freedom. Such a construction determines the possibility of making numerous movements, which is not a small thing for a robot of this size. In fact, the robot can not only walk but can also kneel . The upper limbs have also been modeled, for example from the metal fingertip to the point where the wrist will connect, 2 meters have been calculated and the weight reaches about 600 kilos.
The construction involved the use of a steel frame and an exterior in carbon resin. In addition, the mechanical parts are powered by electric actuators, all this allows to obtain a movement similar to that of the toy Gundam. The entire robot is then coupled with a mobile support system, Gundam Carrier , which can move the robot in and out of the cage that incorporates it. It will also be remotely controlled during the movement and spectators will be limited to watching from a nearby building.
The Gundam Global Challenge (GGC)
During the entire project phase, the Gundam Global Challenge (GGC) was launched simultaneously with which it was possible to propose solutions for the construction of the robot . The GGC Research Open Simulator Project, a branch of the GCC managed by Dr. Kei Okada of Tokyo University Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, deserves special mention.
The 3D Gundam model available for download on the project website is accessible to anyone, regardless of skill level and can be used in robotics simulations. The source code, compatible with ROS (an open source middleware widely used in robotics research) is available on the GGC GitHub project folder.
Not only research but also entertainment
The work done by the team is not just about research. The Gundam Factory has in fact planned specific events to show the public its new jewel. The July date has been postponed to October due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During these events, the spectators, placed at a safe distance, will be able to admire the movements of the Gundam in all its magnificence.
The Gundam Factory area will be divided into two zones
- The Gundam Lab in which there will be an accessible exhibition area where you can learn about the background of the construction of the robot as well as a merchandising center;
- The Gundam-Dock-Tower which is the exhibition area where the gigantic robot is physically present.
A sign that technology, if combined with the interests of the general public, can lead to innovative business solutions .
The Gundam of the 80s
Gundam is a Japanese animation brand created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Hajime Yatate for the Sunrise studio in 1979. The series tells the vicissitudes of a near future in which humanity has begun to colonize space. The protagonists are anthropomorphic combat robots with human pilot.
Since the 1980s, the Gundam has been the protagonist of about 50 TV series and films, not to mention the slew of video games and manga. The link between the past of electronic engineering TV is so indissoluble that Yoshiyuki Tomino is not only the creator of the series and “Father of Gundam” but also the general manager of the gigantic Gundam project.