Japanese Politicians Discuss Building Real Gundam

Monday, July 9, 2012


Politicians in Japan are discussing the possibilities of the country building a real, full-sized, working Gundam. Two members of the Liberal Democratic Party want to take a serious look at what it would take to construct the two-legged, walking mech from the infamous, long-running Gundam anime series.
On the heels of Hajime Sakamoto's four meter giant biped robot being constructed, Japanese politicians are deciding whether to construct Gundam fighting robots.

Mobile humanoid suits or Gundam are a popular form of Japanese anime. Now, Japan's Liberal Democratic Party will hold a 12 hour broadcast on Nico Nico Live to discuss the formation of a real life Gundam fighter robot.

Two members from the party, Masaaki Taira and Hideki Niwa, along with "Mobile Suit Gundam UC" writer Harutoshi Fukui, will hold a panel discussion and speak about the party's plans to create walking humanoid robots like those seen in the popular the anime series Gundam.

In 2008, the Japan Science and Technology Agency estimated that the cost to build a fully function Gundam-like robot would be $725,000 USD for parts and material. Labor and other costs were not factored into the estimate.

Taira has held extended discussions in the past about developing piloted humanoid robots through his Twitter account. He has also met with Katsuya Kanaoka, a professor of robotics at the Kyoto University, about the development of these machines.

Mobile Suit Gundam UC

The Nico Nico discussion may be little more than a publicity stunt however. The LDP, who hopes to regain power after the current Democratic Party of Japan implodes, appears to be targeting the geek vote by talking about actually building Gundam robots as a way to promote industry and protect Japan. In robot-crazy Japan it may not be such a bad idea.


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