Over the weekend, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos was present at the company’s Machine Learning, Home Automation, Robotics, and Space Exploration (MARS) conference. There, he got to ride and control the METHOD-2 giant robot.
The online retail giant’s chief sat behind the controls of the 4-meter tall mech in a demonstration caught on video by some people attending the event. Bezos made the robot’s arms swing up, down, and to the sides, much to the amusement of the public.
Developed by Hankook Mirae Technology in South Korea, the robot resembles some similar designs seen on popular films. Reportedly, it could go on sale by the end of the year with a whopping price tag of $8.3 million.
METHOD-2 spearheads innovation at Amazon’s MARS
While it is a private conference, MARS is known by those exclusive enough to get an invite as an important stage to catch up with the latest advancements in tech’s most promising fields.
One such sector is robotics, and Hankook Mirae Technology was present at the event straight from South Korea to proudly showcase their latest creation: the METHOD-2 robot.
This robot stands 4-meters tall and weighs over 1.5 tons. It was inspired by pilotable units seen at sci-fi films such as Transformers, reminiscing also old anime series like Evangelion and Gundam.
There is a cockpit in the ‘torso’ of the machine, where a person sits to pilot it. Two joysticks are all the person needs to control the arms, much like CEO Jeff Bezos did during his humorous demonstration at the conference.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) March 20, 2017
Hankook Mirae’s robot was subjected to much speculation by skeptics when it first came to light late last year. Live Science questioned the functionality of the robot, which still seems a little flimsy judging by the cables keeping it stable at the MARS showcase.
Vitaly Bulgarov was in charge of designing the METHOD-2, and he drew inspiration from sci-fi favorites like Pacific Rim and Starship Troopers to work on the robot.
Bulgarov has worked on very real projects with Boston Dynamics. Google’s robotics division envisions eclectic designs for humanoid machines, much like the recently revealed Handle, a hybrid robot with wheels that can jump.
While the robot may not be able to stand and walk on his own, it sure might when it comes to market later in the year for a reported $8.3 million. Sales and availability details remain unknown, but it will most likely be a whim you have to request first.
Source: The Verge