One small step for man, one giant step for robot suit with man inside
A South Korean robot similar to the one imagined in the film "Avatar" takes its first steps.
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When you mention South Korean tech companies, the name Hankook Mirae Technology isn't the first to come to mind. But on Tuesday, the company made its 13-foot, 1.5-ton manned robot, the Method-1, take a step -- as shown in the YouTube video above.
The robot would be more accurately described as a large robot powered-suit. As reported by The Telegraph, a pilot sits inside the robot's torso to make limb movements, which are mimicked by the robot.
It's no coincidence that the suit bears a close resemblance to the military robots from the movie "Avatar." That's because one of the designers, Vitay Bulgarov, has worked as a robot designer on films like "Transformers" and "RoboCop" as well as the upcoming "Ghost In A Shell."
The first thing you notice about the Method-1 is its size -- apparently the ground shakes with each step it takes. But there are many possibilities for how such a large robot could be used to solve real-world problems.
Bulgarov wrote in a post on Facebook that one real-world application might include mounting the top part of the robot onto a wheeled platform. "A modified version of that is already in development," he said, "and is planned to help in restoration of Fukushima disaster area."