30 June 2012

Japanese politicians consider developing Gundam?

Image from Robot Watch

A number of politicians from Liberal Democratic Party are considering to develop a life-size and functional Gundam, and had held a NicoLive broadcast on this discussion on 28th June, with Fukui Harutoshi (author of Gundam UC novel) making a guest appearance.

... But just how viable is this development will be?

According to a research by SciencePortal way back in 2008, the cost for material and parts on building a robot of such size will already be 79521 million Yen, or approximately 725 million USD for the time according to pink tentacle. This only considers the mecha to be able to walk, and anything close to jumping or flying is out of the question. Building or maintenance cost is not mentioned.

Picture of 1/1 Gundam statue from my visit in Odaiba back in 2009

Realising the immpractical nature of a giant walking meccha for military or and the immaturity of technology for other applicable uses (such as civil engineering), it turns out that as Japanese media stated that the purpose of developing a Gundam that can walk is for tourism purpose, where materialisation of such dream can be the "killer content" for Japan's tourism features.

Allowing the Gundam of such size and of great weight to walk will be a big challenge, and not the least to mention the power required to move it, which is another question that is discussed.

As for financial issue, this proposed Gundam development will not be funded by tax, but by private sectors as well as from donations in order to promote a culture of fund-raising.

All in all, will this worth the money? While a walking Gundam sounds interesting, personally I am already happy with the 1/1 Gundam as an immobile statue, even if it is a temporary display (as it is right now in Odaiba for Gundam Front Tokyo project). I'm a little surprised that there are politicians that would seriously consider it. Some argue that making robots for other services such as rescue will be a money better spent. What do you think of this?



  1. I posted about this on my blog too~
    But yeah, I don't see a fully functional Gundam happening anywhere in the near future. It just doesn't seem feasible to me that a giant robot can move fast enough to actually be effective in combat. Anime is anime, we gotta get realistic sometime.

    1. the fact is science is unpredictable as in our level today, as a easy illustration, Einstein in his e=mc2 in past years he is laugh by the other scientist for not, surprisingly its true, so with effort and strategy this could be ponsible, yet it would not be easy it can be sabotage by other nation. . . the fact japan can!

    2. Haha maybe in time this can be a dream come true. Though if they really are serious about it they can't rush this potential project for sure!

  2. I have to agree with you as this is just over the top. I really like the 1/1 now that has limited movement and can't imagine one that would actually walk.

    More concerned if they did build it and it fell on someone. Can you image the headlines on that one!

  3. They better solve the issues of user interface, control systems, AMBAC, energy source and tonnes of others first.

    I greatly doubt our current tech level is up to the standard of producing one that is survivable in battle... (agility, armour and pilot are some of the important factors)

  4. @ C.Jin:
    Oh I better get around to your post soon!

    Giant robots for combat is not feasible or practical, but there may be a *slight* possibility for constructional purposes (which is just the only thing I can think of that would make some sense, but a Guntank-like design will be more probable than a bi-pedal one). Sci-fi stuff simply remains as sci-fi in some aspects, as it would simply be an unrealistic fantasy to apply here.

    @ bluedrakon:
    The current Gundam can move its head around, which is a pretty nice gimmick already.

    Given that walking is still a rather immature aspect for robots, an accident is not unlikely, and that should would cost a lot of damage, money-wise and reputation-wise.

    @ bd77:
    There's also the Minovsky particles that they have yet to generate, and in constant supply!

    Things that are highly survivable these days tend to be smaller and/or flatter, so mobile suits will do just the opposite. Heck, even in Universal Century the insufficient number of good pilots ended up as a big problem there too!

    1. well the US military has combat robots already, a gundam may be large, but if the armor was as strong as the ones you see in the newer gundams (wich is possible with a bit of science majic) then it wouldn't be as bad as you think bd77.In fact we still on rare occassion use the flying fortress which is the size of a gundam. so you cant say it's size would be completely useless. if they could move and preform exactly like the ones on TV, then it would be a very useful weapon. and if size was truely such an issue then they could scale them down, like the ones in mobile fighter G gundam. simply put,you cant say the gundams would be useless due to size.

  5. I would be happy seeing a walking Gundam, even if it didn't do anything else. That would be a huge engineering feat.

  6. @ Nopy:
    Seeing a life size Gundam walking before our very eyes will definitely be something unprecedented and breathtaking. I wonder whether this will actually be taken seriously with progress to be made rather than something to be mentioned on paper only.


Be sure to copy long comments to clipboard in case of Internet or server problems