You’ve seen these robotic suits before. Maybe you were playing one of this year’s best video games in Titanfall or Overwatch. Or perhaps watching Avatar, The Edge of Tomorrow, or Iron Man. The mechanized suits in these examples come up in pop culture every now and then, sparking our imagination of what could be possible decades or even centuries from now.
Or, you know, today.
With help from Hollywood SFX designer Vitaly Bulgarov (Transformers, Robocop, Terminator), South Korean robotics manufacturer Hankook Mirae Technology has turned those imaginations into reality with the reveal of a real-life mech. The Method-2 is a 13-foot prototype robot that weighs in at 1.3 tons. A pilot sits inside the beast’s torso and makes movements with their limbs. Those movements are mimicked by the mech’s 286-pound motion-tracking metal arms.
“Our robot is the world’s first manned bipedal robot and is built to work in extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go [unprotected],” the company’s chairman, Yang Jin-Ho, said in a statement, according to Engadget. He started the project to “bring to life what only seemed possible in movies and cartoons.”
The company has spent more than $200 million since 2014 to develop the human-controlled mech. But even that hefty budget won’t bring this creation into the light of day. The Method-2 will serve as a testbed for emerging mechanized technology, but mostly likely not find its way out of the lab.