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Forget Transformers. Japan is building a real Gundam Robot

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A Transformers-like Gundam Robot is already standing high in Japan's Odaiba district and plans are also being made to build a massive Gundam Robot that can move.

In 1979, a Japanese television series called Mobile Suit Gundam debuted, which gave rise to the Gundam franchise and attracted many robot enthusiasts. The Gundam robots have appeared in many novels, video games, movies and more. In 2009, an 18-meter Gundam statue was also installed at the main entrance of Diver City Tokyo shopping center. Now, Gundam enthusiasts have bigger plans and want to build a robot that can also move.

However, building such a gigantic machine similar in size to an entire apartment complex will definitely have engineering challenges. The current Gundam statue weighs about 35 tonnes. The moving statue may involve more parts that may increase the weight of the machine. A previous study reveals that it may take up to $1 billion to make such a massive moving machine.

Many Gundam fans and businesses have created a group called the Gundam Global Challenge, which aims to build the machine to mark the 40th anniversary in 2019. The Gundam Global Challenge is inviting experts from around the world to give ideas on how to make the project a reality and asking them for their support and encouragement.

"Bringing global knowledge together to challenge the ultimate dream! The aim is to make the 18m GUNDAM move. To achieve this ambitious goal, we will develop a global project based in Japan, building a project team and collecting ideas and plans from around the world. Cutting-edge technology, global knowledge and a strong passion that goes beyond the borders of countries and disciplines will make GUNDAM move," per the Gundam Global Challenge website.

The group says that this is not just an engineering project, but it will also result in a new type of entertainment. At the same time, some market observers suggest that even though there are challenges associated with making the robot move, it is still very achievable in the modern age.

Minoru Asada, who is a professor of robotics and engineering at Osaka University, says that power required to move the Gundam robot may become an issue.

Gundam Global Challenge is accepting applications for people to contribute to the project from July 31 this year and the deadline for the primary application will end on Feb. 27, 2015.

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