By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
Photo(s) Credit: Getty Images and/or Hankook Mirae Technology
December 27, 2016
Last updated on 12/27/16.
First, there was Ripley in the United States Colonial Marines’ Caterpillar P-5000 Powered Work Loader a.k.a. Power Loader fighting the Xenomorph Queen onboard the USS Sulaco in Aliens. Then, there was Hell’s Gate security chief Col. Miles Quaritch fighting fair Na’vi maiden Neytiri in an AMP (Amplified Mobility Platform) suit on Pandora in Avatar. Now, there are a bunch of South Korean guys (engineers, presumbably) at South Korean robotics company Hankook Mirae Technology (HMT) designing and developing the 13-foot-tall, 1.5-ton Method-2 Giant Manned Bipedal Robot (GMBR) exo-bionic exoskeleton, with arms that weigh 286 lbs (pounds) apiece, in the real world, and HMT company chairman Yang Jin-Ho seems pretty excited about it.
Yang’s so excited about it, in fact, that he’s apparently already put about 242 billion won (that’s $200 million) into the program since 2014 to “bring to life what only seemed possible in movies and cartoons”. DefenseReview (DR) appreciates Yang’s and HMT’s enthusiasm and futuristic vision, and we hope the manned robot/exoskeleton really works.
While the Method-2 is essentially a developmental prototype of the giant bipedal robotic technology, Yang claims the robot will be available for sale in 2017 for about $8.3 million. In theory, the Method robot series should eventually be able to do everything the fictional AMP suit can do, including gunfighting and knife fighting. Now, that would be something. It would of course be nice to see an American-designed-and-developed armed and armored/weaponized (and camouflaged) version at some point for future infantry warfare applications (and just in case we ever have to fight our own Terminator robots in a human versus robot death match), but whatever. At least the South Koreans are U.S. allies and trading partners.
Defense Review’s going to keep an eye on this one.
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