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60-foot Gundam robot takes its first steps

A 60ft-tall (18m) robot inspired by the popular Japanese anime series Mobile Suit Gundam has taken its first steps. 

The giant machine is a humanoid robot which resembles those seen in blockbuster films like Pacific Rim and Transformers. 

The robot is being built as part of a new attraction at Yamashita Pier by engineers at Gundam Factory in the Port of Yokohama. 

In the video, showing a routine test, the robot’s legs can be seen performing a walking motion but the machine is currently without a head, indicating it is some way from completion. 

It was initially scheduled to go on show to the public in October 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the grand opening to be postponed. 

A statement on the project’s site said: ‘We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Special Experience preview event scheduled to begin this July and postpone our grand opening scheduled for October 2020.

‘We expect to have our grand opening within the year. Details will be announced as available. 

‘This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of our fans and employees in response to the worldwide spread of Covid-19. 

‘We apologise to all of our fans who were looking forward to our grand opening and ask for your understanding.

‘In the meantime, we will be making preparations so that all of our visitors can enjoy themselves in safety.’

The fictional manned robot RX-78-2 Gundam was first created in 1979 by the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam. 

Its 2020 incarnation will be open to the public for a year once it does open and the site will also come with a cafe, shops and an academy to inspire young engineers.  

As impressive as the robot is, it is not the first full-size Gundam robot to be created in Japan, where the anime series is immensely popular. 

A RX-0 Unicorn Gundam statue was unveiled in Odaiba, Tokyo in 2017 which stands at almost 65ft tall (19.7m). 

This replaced a RX-78-2 model which was first placed at the site in 2012.  

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