Gundam Factory

Giant Gundam robot towers over Yokohama harbour for series’ 40th anniversary

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A giant replica robot from the anime Mobile Suit Gundam is on display in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, was unveiled in time for the series’ 40th anniversary.

A video shared online as part of the Gundam Global Challenge program explores how the giant robot was created and some of its functions in action.

This particular unit of model RX-78F00 is 18 meters (59 feet) tall and features 34 points of articulation for movement, such as walking, manipulating its fingers, and other motions, controlled with an operating system designed specifically for robots from the Japanese company Asratec called V-Sido. Visitors can engage in controlling the robot in front of screens linked to cameras mounted on the suit itself.

The aptly named Gundam Factory is situated on a wharf extending into Tokyo Bay, giving visitors a place to frame photos of the RX-78F00 model robot in front of the sprawling metropolis. The “factory” is home to a café, store, exhibits on robotics and the Gundam franchise as well as a conference room. A viewing platform for a closer look at this impressive suit requires the purchase of a separate admission of ¥3,300 JPY (approximately $41.00 CAD).

Originally, the event was supposed to open back in October, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it was rescheduled to December 19th, 2020. International tourists will have to wait their turn to see the Gundam in person as part of the Japanese government’s restrictions on non-essential travel.

Fear not Gundam fans, this 1:1 scale replica will continue guarding Yokohama until March 31st, 2022.

Sources: NHK World-Japan, Gundam Factory Yokohama, IEEE Spectrum, YouTube

Images © Sotsu / Sunrise


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