Say Hello to our New Robot Overlords

Well, that’s it. If SkyNet goes live once this 4-meter tall Avatar-style mech suit is in production, we’re all doomed.

Named [Method-2], the bipedal giant towers over the engineers testing it at Korea’s Hankook Mirae Technology, where they appear to have done everything possible to make this thing look terrifyingly awesome. The first video below shows the mech with a pilot on board, putting the arms through their paces. We count at least six degrees of freedom on each arm, not including the five digits on each hand that look like they could punch through a brick wall. Later in the video we see a tethered walking test with no pilot, but we also found a webcam video that purports to be the first walk with a pilot. Either way, the 1.5-ton machine shakes the floor with every step.

This is still a development phase project, as evidenced by the fact that the mech seems to be getting its power from an umbilical. But this company has dumped a lot of money into this thing, and we’d bet they intend to capitalize on it. Once it can run untethered, though, watch out. Until then, we’ll settle for this mecha-baby costume.

72 thoughts on “Say Hello to our New Robot Overlords

  1. “very nice. wont use it…”

    what could you grab with those hands except streetlights. touching the ground is still years off, not to mention getting in the thing and getting upright. It seems to me the arms are to high to be of any use below 2mtr.

    1. However “law-droid” had knees bent backwards and weird extending lower legs, Method-2 is walking like a humanoid, different kinematics going on here ;-)
      Arguably the backward-knees would probably be better, especially once they give it it’s own power source and try to walk faster (or even run)…

  2. What?! We’ve done this here already. Ed, this is CGI, come on!

    See this vid for some more obvious CGI lighting methods. The reflections do not match the rest of the scenery at all.

    Come on guys. I’ve been with the change of pace on reporting here, but you’re loosing your critical thinking hat.

    1. On some of the closer shots you see an orange peel-ish type effect on the paint/gelcoat… also why are you worried about your CGI bot falling over? Admitted, the lighting and camera in use make it look very CGIish, but there’s some stuff, I don’t think would be there if it was.

    2. naw its most likely real as there is nothing special or amazing about it, its nothing but a blown up version of those servo humanoid toys you can by online. the arms are little more then hollow props that can barely dampen their own movements let alone even think about lifting anything else And the whole thing can barely walk.

      there’s nothing here that can be done with off the shelf tech, its just a useless toy not something that will ever be useful.

      1. Well, it’s the v1 prototype of giant ‘mechs. What do you want for your money? The first tanks looked ridiculous, and they actually sent them into battle, half-useless as they were. The first firearms were pretty crap too. You can’t say “ever” about such an early prototype. There’s lots of room for development.

        At least they’ve built one. That’s a good place to start making improvements from, having the whole system up and running, rather than doing it all on paper as separate systems. This could develop quickly, if they throw enough brains and money at it.

  3. I think many people think this to be real because they WANT it to be real. This is the fakest video I’ve ever seen! (well thats an exaggeration maybe).

    I thought the people of hackaday were smarter than msnbc….

        1. Flite test group are the first to mind after reading your post.
          They’ve made models of sci-fi stuff as proof of concept ( OK, actually just to see if it is possible for fun)

          Also seen a hoverbike around the internets (possibly on here too).
          Though the bike was essentially two giant fans and something else for stability AFAIR.

        2. Yup, could do a lot of Star Trek type stuff now just by throwing huge amounts of money and manpower at it.

          Also bear in mind, the stuff that looks like a brilliant hack/invention now, because it combines several now “cheap” mass produced items of tech, some of it was done up to 30 years ago by that method, throwing unlimited black dollars at it, by DARPA and other departments. An “open” example of that was Xerox PARC. I’m aware of some massively parallel installations made out of microvaxes in the mid 80s, that could have stayed in the Top500 list well into late 90s, had they been listed, though it was mid 90s when they were decommissioning them for something better that I learned of it. Mid 90s it seemed like the concept of building massively parallel systems out of commodity hardware was the newest thing, with the first Beowulf…. but yah, it was 10 years old by then, been done with microvaxes by the spooks.

          1. I already work with space age tech from startrek.
            M2007 scanners on the front decks and saw some orbit scanners (our internal name AFAIK). Swarn I saw an LS2208 somewhere.

            Search “startrek barcode scanners on deck”

      1. Example for the art of trolling:
        Write “conspiracy theory” in one post and “tinfoil hats” in another.

        For better effect: make four posts where the other two contradict the above two(i.e. a pro and an anti of each), but in different places on the comment listings.

        Wait a day, revisit and read. Now you have entertainment better than TV.

    1. Grab the popcorn we want to see the driver clap his hands.

      This is all very neat but without some serious haptic feedback and even a bunch of dynamic constraints in the robot’s motion, this is and will continue to be a toy.

          1. which is why even professional workshops with sls printers have found a use for them…..

            whether or not something is a toy has more to do with how you use it than the item itself.
            they print cheaper and in many cases faster, there are even some materials that FDM printers can handle that SLS printers cannot.

            FDM is inherently as much of a toy as any other rapid fabrication, they all have pro’s and con’s.
            high performance SLS printer speed ends where low end FDM printers start out and from there to high end FDM printers is almost an order of magnitude.

  4. The torso and arms are pretty obviously just motorised fibreglass maquettes put in place for marketing effect. They’ll be 90% hollow. You can seem them shake and flex as it moves, so while it has the look of being very bulky the main mass it’s actually moving is the legs.
    It’s impressive to see a walker scaled up to this size, but I’d like to see it handle being top-heavy before I get really excited.

  5. Real or not, this device is more movie prop than anything with a practical application. In other words: what could you actually DO with this machine, that you could not do better with a more appropriate design?

    1. Well Mechs are cool, but it is a good question especially when you consider the preexisting tools have had years of refinement. That’s why tanks will be better than mechs for a good while although there is the psychological effects to consider if not the practical.

    1. I’d guess only a few kilowatts. Maybe 10-15Kw.

      It’s not shown walking with the driver in it, just when stationary and moving the arms. The upper body is mostly fibreglass & the suspension frame. When walking I’d guess 60-70% of the weight is in the legs and they all look like aluminium. It’s not going to need massive amounts of power to move.

        1. Nah, 82.45417% percent of internet guessed values are pulled out of asses, even comments alone are from asses sometimes, both are including my one here.

          At least get some accuracy in your estimates. LOL

    1. Yup, a more agile type of crane is one use for an android ‘mech. Most other things, including killing people, are probably better and cheaper done by other machines.

      Maybe for space colonisation, where general-purpose flexibility beats specificity in machines. Why they still send astronauts up, even with all the hassle necessary to keep them alive.

  6. Why legs?

    18″ wheels would be lighter, able to go over rougher terrain, more efficient, faster, cheaper, more durable, more stable, etc.

    10kW 3 phase and they can only move that slow with that limited of payload?!

    Could it even carry it’s own portable power source?

    What about a design that doesn’t tip over when you attempt to pick something up?

    1. Legs can travel over rougher terrain than wheels can, though obviously not as quickly over smooth. Legs are never going to get stuck in mud. Plus y’know it’s supposed to be a giant android.

      As far as tipping up when it bends over, humans do that too. So it’d need to squat to pick stuff off the ground. That’s not too much trouble, just needs the hips re-doing. And perhaps making it as un-top-heavy as possible. Removing the operator cabin and doing it remotely would help in lots of ways, but of course isn’t nearly as cool.

      As far as power source, who knows? If you designed it from scratch, I’m sure a frame like that could carry a petrol generator. Maybe a novel one designed for light weight. There’s a lot to learn from aerospace about strong, light, (expensive) machine construction.

      Battletech ‘mechs are powered by nuclear fusion, but that’s not quite ready yet.

      1. I think one of the things that humans find most psychologically scary are bigger humans, hence giants in fairy tales, however, in order not to go completely over the top omg ultimate nightmare, they made them dull witted most often.

        So even in these questionably enlightened times, we’re impressed by anthropomorphic large robots… less effective than other designs they might be.

      2. I think you meant to say “An ideal leg setup can travel over….”.

        I’m questioning why they are using such a half-assed leg setup.

        This setup needs very very flat hard floors. Basically leveled concrete only. It’s so heavy compared to it’s weight that it couldn’t even walk on mostly packed sandy dirt. Add a power supply and it just got LOTS heavier and top heavy.

        We don’t tip over because we can adjust the center of mass relative to our stance. This can’t. Even if infinitely strong, it can only lift a small fraction of it’s own weight because it cantilevers off it’s toes.

        Such a dumb waste of money.

        The issues with these things are well published. Instead of trying to solve the problems, they just build a big dumb thing.

  7. I kind of want it to be real, even as just a marketing prop for a movie or something… But…

    Ah I’ll just post up a few links. I’d place a bet on it being *very* good bit of CGI, that will do wonders for Mr Bulgarovs CV, but I’ll also happily go on record eating my words, as the shaky fibreglass arms, as mentioned by dexdrako above are a nice touch of detail, if not real.

    Or as another poster said, hybrid video is an option also! I’m really actually now quote curious to see how this plays out!

    There is some impressive camera work on the main site, far more… Dare I use the word “cinematic” than what we have seen of the Method 2 vids… It looks like huge sums of cash for a company that has next to no history or background available…

    I’m in a quandary. I want to believe it’s all real…!

    https://www.instagram.com/vitalybulgarov/

    http://hankookmirae.tech/main/main.html

  8. I’ll be damned. I never thought to use electric motors to planetary gearboxes in the joints (via belt drive even). I always think hydraulics for these things. Cool, but will probably meet the same fate as GE’s Hardiman.

    1. Not just Planetary, I’m betting they are Harmonic drive gearboxes with the servo motors.
      The drives are on the back, Elmo Gold HV Drums…. the max spec in the package they are using there can handle upwards of 65kW and they fit in your palm. http://www.elmomc.com
      (Confirmed, I work for one of the regional distributors for them)

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