Robot designer to the stars Vitaly Bulgarov is in the midst of a new project, his eventual aim to aid Fukushima, the prefecture of Japan worst hit by the earthquake and tsunami disaster of 2011. CNN reported that the 13-foot “robot-powered suit” is being developed in Gunpo, South Korea, under the name Method-2. Far from being a mere CG indulgence, the visual effects artist said that the build is a real robot, with many potential real-world applications.
Bulgarov is working on the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie starring Scarlett Johansson while he develops Method-2. He previously designed the Lamborghini Lockdown for Michael Bay’s Transformers, as well as a robotic boy suit for the 2014 Robocop film. He commented on proceedings for bringing his new design into the physical world, saying “A modified version of that robotic vehicle is already in development and planned to operate in the Fukushima disaster area”.
While sceptics speculate on whether the robot is actually real, considering the hyper-realistic lab shown in a promo video, Bulgarov’s baffled that the prototype went viral. The development team at South Korean company Hankook Mirae Technology planned to unveil the build later in 2017, after the prototype’s completion with press releases and an official website prepared.
The team simply weren’t expecting so much interest at this early stage, as building is yet to be finished. Bulgarov said “As you can see the legs still have no shells covers and feature a ‘naked’ frame”. That’s without finding a “sufficient power source” and modifying the bot to tackle uneven terrain. But once the model has been perfected, Bulgarov’s aspirations are that “Future iterations could find its application in a lot of different areas, from construction and cargo loading to rescue operations”.
The developer said that Method-2 is just one year old, so an astounding amount of progress has been made since Method-1, the first prototype, as pictured above. An official unveiling is planned for later this year, providing this next version of the robot is ready for publicity.