Is that Megatron walking the streets? Nope, it is just Jeff Bezos piloting a massive robot named Method-2 at the Amazon Machine Learning Automation, Robotics and Space Exploration (MARS) conference. Bezos recently tweeted, “I just got to pilot an awesome (and huge) robot thanks to Hankook Mirae Technology. Nice! #MARS2017”.
The 13-foot, 1.5-ton Method-2 was created by robotics expert Vitaly Bulgarov. Bulgarov has worked on films such as Transformers, Robocop and the Terminator series alongside South Korean company Hankook Mirae Technology. According to Bulgarov's Facebook page, “Everything we have been learning so far on this robot can be applied to solve real-world problems”.
The company specializes in robots that are able to work in extreme, hazardous conditions.. Method-2 was originally introduced last year and was dubbed by Hankook Mirae Technology as “the world's first manned bipedal robot”. It is also intended to serve as a test-bed for future robots of varying sizes.
There have been some doubts over the authenticity of the Method-2 footage. Last year videos appeared of Method-2 walking. These videos, however, only appeared on sources like Instagram and Facebook, and Bulgarov had refused to release the names of his colleagues. Some people are also skeptical of the latest Bezos footage. Bezos was filmed controlling Method-2’s arms, nevertheless, the robot appears to be attached to chains and unable to walk.
The MARS conference is an invite-only event hosted by Amazon, and started last year at Parker Palm Springs resort in California. The conference unsurprisingly focuses on robotics.
Robots have popped up all over the internet and scientific community over the last few years. Boston Dynamics is best known for its nightmare-inducing robots that can run, jump, and climb. Its latest robot “Handle” is able to stand-up on two wheels, race at over nine miles an hour, leap into the air up and over objects, and lift incredibly heavy objects.