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Gundam!
June 17, 2009 10:03 PM   Subscribe

A mechanic in Wasilla Alaska has built his own 18-foot tall mecha. He's a piker, though, compared to the Japanese, who have built a 59-foot tall Gundam. (Nonfunctional, alas.)

This page (in Japanese, some ads are NSFW) has a lot more pictures of it. Click
the thumbnails for larger versions.
posted by Chocolate Pickle (32 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't watch much anime. Does the existence of giant robots usually lead to good things?
posted by Donnie VandenBos at 10:20 PM on June 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I disagree entirely that the 18-foot tall mecha is less impressive than the 59-foot Gundam. A "non-functional" giant robot is just a giant statue as far as I'm concerned. Even if Owens' robot can't walk yet (the article is frustratingly short of details and video), the fact that it moves at all and does so to mimic its pilot's movements is awesome. Besides, exposed hydraulics and cables beats brightly colored panels in the bad-ass contest any day.
posted by ErWenn at 10:21 PM on June 17, 2009


Well, that's definitely a house you can see from Russia.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:22 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


To answer Donnie VandenBos:

As I understand it, in Japan, the giant robots are usually good guys.
posted by ErWenn at 10:22 PM on June 17, 2009


The Palin Factor: If Sarah Palin wasn't from Wasilla is this even news?

Or better yet, what happens if this mecha makes a crack about Willow?
posted by IvoShandor at 10:51 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Nonfunctional, alas."

Just wait until version 2.0.

Love the Alaskan mecha! And Owens is right about the potential of mecha-vs.-mecha battles, or just monster trucks and mechas together. Just imagine how people would go wild over a robot destroying old schoolbuses... Have to power it with something a but punchier than gas, tho.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:55 PM on June 17, 2009


Giant Scary Fucking Alaska Robot/Palin '12
posted by Mikey-San at 10:56 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Alaskans need mecha to fight off the hordes of grizzlies, I suppose.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:23 PM on June 17, 2009


IvoShandor: The Palin Factor: If Sarah Palin wasn't from Wasilla is this even news?

I believe you have your conception of the newsworthiness of robots vs. Republican vice presidential candidates slightly reversed.
posted by koeselitz at 11:26 PM on June 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


What is it with northerners and robotic armored suits?
posted by armage at 11:28 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everybody needs a hobby.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:28 PM on June 17, 2009


Thank god these people have hobbies. Imagine all the fucked up kidnapping and raping and forced cosplay these people would take part in if they didn't.
posted by item at 11:46 PM on June 17, 2009


When the Chinese take over Anchorage, you'll be goddamn grateful we've already got Liberty Prime stationed in Alaska.
posted by qvantamon at 11:57 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Palin Factor: If Sarah Palin wasn't from Wasilla is this even news?

Damn straight it is! This guy is your regular shmoe, making what every 10-15 year old boy wishes really existed: a mechanical exoskeleton fighting machine that mimics your every move. A working Gundam? Battleoid? Shogun Warrior? Awesome.

I heard about this guy a couple of years ago back when he was from Anchorage, and had respect for his nusto project then, too.

Thank god these people have hobbies. Imagine all the fucked up kidnapping and raping and forced cosplay these people would take part in if they didn't.


Aww, that's just wrong. Robot building is whole different kind of fetish.
posted by jabberjaw at 12:01 AM on June 18, 2009


Robots: Big in Japan
posted by Pronoiac at 12:01 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is officially the most impressive thing to come out of Wasilla for years.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:53 AM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I so want somebody to replace that lame replica of the Statue of Liberty in Odaiba with that Gundam. Awesome, that would be.
posted by misozaki at 1:19 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want somebody to replace the Statue of Liberty in New York with a Gundam. Torch optional.
posted by armage at 1:20 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh fantastic. First Japanese scientists start simulating asteroid impacts, and now giant robot suits. This can only mean we're well on the road to the Third Impact and Human Instrumentality. We're all doomed, but at least there'll be fan service.

i musn't run away i musn't run away i musn't run away
posted by permafrost at 1:28 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the links, Chocolate Pickle. I have spent far, far too much of my life checking on the progress of giant robot technology, from Alaska guy to the ever-more-advanced Japanese exoskeletons, but I did not know about the Gundam. As hobbies go, amateur giant robot construction is pretty damn cool.
posted by cupcakeninja at 4:19 AM on June 18, 2009


I can hear his wife, 80's sitcom style: "Oh sure, but can it take out the trash or put the dishes away?"

But really: "The first application he has in mind: mecha-vs.-mecha battles, demolition-derby style."

I ENDORSE THIS HEARTILY. That would be SO awesome to watch.
posted by not_on_display at 5:53 AM on June 18, 2009


This is news despite the Palin factor.
posted by swift at 6:23 AM on June 18, 2009


Maybe Palin will do some publicity stunt with the robot, where it will go berzerk and crush her. Failing that, maybe it will just fall over on her.
posted by orme at 6:32 AM on June 18, 2009


The first application he has in mind: mecha-vs.-mecha battles, demolition-derby style.

YES YES YES
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:48 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wife: "Carlos, you're spending altogether too much time and money working on this robot. And what is an eighteen foot tall robot good for?"

Carlos: "Robot... Kill..."
posted by digsrus at 7:12 AM on June 18, 2009


Giant Scary Fucking Alaska Robot/Palin '12

Constitutionally not-allowed-to-happen. Unless Palin did something crazy like pretend to be from Wyoming or something.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:31 AM on June 18, 2009


Giant Scary Fucking Alaska Robot/Palin '12

Constitutionally not-allowed-to-happen.

Dunno, it looks to me like most of that (frackin' awrsome) robot was made in Detroit.

I hope he names it "Putin Interceptor".
posted by rokusan at 8:18 AM on June 18, 2009


mecha-vs.-mecha battles

Not if PETR has anything to say about it.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:27 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


You forgot to mention that the mecha was developed in secret on Shadow Moses Island.
posted by fuq at 8:53 AM on June 18, 2009


Robot combat? Try the RoboGames. Last weekend. So awesome.

A fun bit: Robots heavier than me chucking each other around the arena. One got stuck propped up on the I-beams surrounding the floor. The audience wanted more combat, instead of just waiting for a KO, so the one that could still move carefully lined up its flipper & then threw the other robot directly at its controller, hitting the clear wall with a resounding smack.

It takes some getting over.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:01 AM on June 18, 2009


Giant Scary Fucking Alaska Robot/Palin '12,

Giant 12" Alaska Robot Fucking Scary Palin

ftfy
posted by Kabanos at 10:03 AM on June 18, 2009


Oh, man, I saw that Gundam in Odaiba today! I'm a lot more excited about this than I should be, I suppose, but that thing has to be seen IRL. The way it's sort of looming there among the trees of the park by the ocean was so weird and cool, and it totally matches the general craziness of the Odaiba area. I also loved the way you can see its backside from the Rainbow Bridge. You see the beach, shopping malls, the Fuji TV building, the Statue of Liberty, a hotel and then... GUNDAM!
posted by misozaki at 7:17 AM on June 19, 2009


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