(TMU) – Since the 1974 release of kaiju film classic Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, it’s been no secret that Japan loves enormous robots. The genre took a major step forward in 1979 with the release of the wildly popular Mobile Suit Gundam anime series, which introduced the concept of mecha – gigantic, humanoid military robots piloted by a human.
As we’ve been reporting for months, the madmen at Gundam Factory Yokohama in Japan have been conducting simple movement tests and putting the finishing touches on a full-sized, 60-foot-tall robot based on the RX-78F00 Gundam. The gigantic mecha stands at a towering 60 feet and weighs in at a whopping 55,000 pounds.
And now, in stunning new video released from the Gundam hangar at Yokohama’s Yamashita Pier, the larger-than-life mecha can be seen conducting its last test to ensure that it operates at its full range of motion.
The stunning full-range motion show that this marvel of Japanese engineering may have hit some snags this year due to the pandemic, but this hasn’t stopped the Yokohama Gundam team from plowing forward to ensure that this towering full-sized Gundam is ready for its debut on October 1, 2020.
In the latest progress video, the robot can be seen going through its full range of motions, including walking, kneeling, moving its head and its arms, and pointing its finger. Weighing upwards of 25 tons, the robot will have 24 degrees of freedom allowing it to walk wherever it pleases.
【#LikeJapan遊戲動漫】橫濱高達 9月17日大型動作測試/ RX-78 real size Gundam is testing in Yokohama, Japan!大量細節相片/more…
Some of Japan’s top engineering, technology, and design talent have been collaborating since 2014 through the Gundam Global Challenge project to transform this futuristic concept into a reality, giving the East Asian country its first truly operational mecha.
The Gundam Global Challenge website offers a number of videos where you can learn about the epic project to construct the robot, along with various testimonials from the engineers and designers behind the project.
As previously noted, this won’t be the first time that a huge Gundam robot will be standing tall in Japan’s skyline, although it is the most ambitious mecha project yet.
Lead designer Masaki Kawahara also has three other life-sized Gundam mechas under his belt, including an RX-0 Unicorn Gundam replica from the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn series, which is parked in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza and has moving light panels, shifting armor plates, and the ability to switch into Destroyer mode. However, the humble RX-0 Unicorn is more like a massive statue than a mecha with full-motion capabilities.
Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Gundam series is one of the most celebrated and recognizable Japanese pop culture icons of the past four decades since Mobile Suit Gundam debuted in 1979. Filled with massive and sleek-yet-blocky mecha robots who fought each other with swords and advanced gun blasters, Gundam spawned a massive manga, anime, plastic model franchise and videogame franchise while also inspiring the mega-popular Macross mecha series.
In addition to nearly 50 official Gundam TV series and films, the franchis has also served as the main inspiration for Western properties including Transformers, Pacific Rim, Voltron, Robot Jox, MegaBots, and Real Steel – not to mention popular Japanese mecha franchises including Macross, Patlabor and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.