A mech for modern times: Method-1 is your sci-fi fantasy come to life

Somewhere in South Korea, the kind of robotics company Michael Bay might invest in is building a towering mech robot straight out of the world of Gundam — and they’ve hired a former movie and game concept artist, known for working on StarCraft II and Transformers: Age of Extinction, to help them.

Built by Korea Future Technology and named Method-1, the giant robot houses a human pilot who in videos is shown apparently controlling it by using arm gestures.

It’s pretty awesome stuff and demonstrates an impressive amount of robot dexterity — from the movement of its individual figures to the ability to shift its weight as it walks.

“It’s an amazing team of engineers and designers who are working to bring this to life,” concept artist Vitaly Bulgarov told Digital Trends. “It’s a real challenge; no one has done something like this before. That’s the main reason we wanted to do it. Why do people climb Everest? Because it’s there. This is a first proof-of-concept robot to show that we as a team can do something like this.”

In recent years, Bulgarov has had a joint career working in both the entertainment industry and the robotics field — with companies including Intel and Boston Dynamics. This work, however, certainly seems to owe more of a debt of gratitude to his science fiction work, although he notes that it is still firmly rooted in reality.

“To make a robot for a specific application, you need to have a very specific task in mind that you need to solve,” he continued. “This is kind of a broad platform attempt to answer a number of different questions. For example, can it walk? Can you use a human-machine interface to operate tools? We want to see where we’re at right now, in terms of what’s possible.”

Where things go from here remains to be seen. Whatever becomes of Method-1, however, it’s certainly captured our imaginations. And with Bulgarov telling us that more information will be forthcoming in the new year, it’s just another reason we want 2017 to hurry up and get here already!

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Toilet-scrubbing robot takes over one of the world’s crappiest jobs

When it comes to jobs that none of us enjoy, scrubbing the toilet would have to rank pretty highly. So why not hand the job over to robots? Very soon you might be able to do exactly that.
Emerging Tech

Step inside the Nepalese restaurant staffed by robot waiters

A robotics startup from Nepal has created a robot waiter called Ginger. It's capable of delivering food from kitchen to table, and can even engage customers in a bit of friendly banter as it does so.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Gaming

‘Overwatch’ gunslinger Ashe is now available on all platforms

Blizzard announced Ashe as the latest Overwatch hero at BlizzCon 2018. The gunslinger has a history with McCree and makes use of a lever-action repeating rifle and a robotic sidekick.
Emerging Tech

Smarter cities need smarter addresses. And you just need 3 words

To make really smart transportation choices, more precise location data will have to be integrated with citywide transportation data. Here’s how one company is mapping the world by using just three words.
Emerging Tech

Would you swap your keycard for a microchip implant? For many, the answer is yes

Put down your keycard! More people are turning to implanted RFID chips as their choice of workplace identification. Should we be worried about a world in which employees get microchipped?
Emerging Tech

Ghostly galaxy discovered lurking on the edge of the Milky Way

A team of astronomers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a strange galaxy next door to the Milky Way. The dwarf galaxy, named Antlia 2, is dark and dim and gives out much less light than expected.
Emerging Tech

Ancient crater the size of NYC discovered under the Greenland ice sheet

A huge crater has been discovered beneath the ice of Greenland, and is thought to be the result of a meteorite impact millions of years ago. The crater is one of the largest ever discovered, measuring 19 miles across.
Emerging Tech

Here’s how the InSight mission to Mars will confirm its landing to NASA

NASA's InSight mission has sent a lander to Mars. NASA researchers have now shared details on how they will monitor the touching down of the lander at the end of its 91 million mile journey.
Outdoors

‘Super magnesium’ may be the next wonder material for outdoor gear

Super Magnesium is a wonder material that is 30 percent lighter than aluminum, as strong as carbon fiber, cheaper to make, and 100-percent recyclable, making it much better for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Forget joysticks — the Guts Game is controlled by a sensor that you swallow

Researchers have created an unusual new game in which players swallow a biosensor and then compete to raise or lower the temperature in their gut. Sound crazy? Here's why it could catch on.
Emerging Tech

Doctors could soon ditch stitches and seal skin wounds with lasers

Just like the dermal regenerator in Star Trek, physicians may soon be able to heal skin wounds using smart, laser-based technology. That's thanks to researchers from Arizona State University.
Emerging Tech

From tornado flushes to remote controls, modern toilets are flush with tech

With the global observance of World Toilet Day on November 19, we take a look at how the modern toilet in our homes and businesses have evolved, and how they are becoming smarter tools in the future.