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Expensive Toy

giant Gundam robot


Japan Science and Technology Agency recently published a report on the cost of a "typical" giant mobile humanoid robot, specifically a warrior from the famous Gundam anime series — an 18-meter giant weighing 43.4 tons. More of a giant costume than a fully automatic robot, a person sits inside the head to control the robot's movement.

The robot described in the report is encased in aluminum alloy, and is managed by an on-board IBM Blue Gene supercomputer, which controls thirty 400-kilowatt engines to drive the feet, hands, torso, and neck. The cost of labor was not taken into account. Here are some of the numbers.

  • $240 million for aluminum alloy (including processing);
  • $1.55 million for the on-board IBM supercomputer;
  • $52 million each for seven gas turbine engines;
  • $260,000 each for 30 electric motors;
  • around $910,000 for sensors and sensors;
  • $450,000 for the cockpit.

These and other costs bring the total to $724.31 million. The report said the cost is comparable to other modern weapon systems.

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