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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pilots giant robot





  • Jeff Bezos piloted the Method-2 robot at the Amazon-sponsored MARS conference in Boston on Monday 
  • The Avatar-style robot was built in Gunpo, South Korea, and unveiled last year
  • It is the first in the world which allows a human to operate it by moving their own body while inside it
  • The robot weighs 1.6 tonnes, is 13ft tall and cost developers $200million to make
  • It will be available for commercial sales at the end of 2017 for $8.3million 

By Jennifer Smith For Dailymail.com

Published: 15:02 EDT, 20 March 2017 | Updated: 16:18 EDT, 20 March 2017

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos piloted a giant robot at a secret conference on Monday, excitedly describing the experience later as 'awesome'.

The billionaire is now among a handful of people to have tested the Method-2, a 13ft robot unveiled in Gunpo, South Korea, last year. 

It bears all the hallmarks of the robot seen in the sci-fi film Avatar and cost more than $200million to make. 

Overcome with excitement as he got to grips with the gadget on Monday, Bezos joked that he felt like Sigourney Weaver in the 1986 film Aliens.   

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos excitedly piloted the Method-2 robot at a conference in Boston on Monday 

The suit has all the same hallmarks of the robot seen in James Cameron's Avatar (right) The suit has all the same hallmarks of the robot seen in James Cameron's Avatar (right)
The suit has all the same hallmarks of the robot seen in James Cameron's Avatar (right) The suit has all the same hallmarks of the robot seen in James Cameron's Avatar (right)

The suit has all the same hallmarks of the robot seen in James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi film Avatar (right)

Overjoyed by the experience, Bezos took to Twitter to share it with fans and give them a glimpse in to the MARS conference, an event sponsored by Amazon. 

'I just got to pilot an awesome (and huge) robot thanks to Hankook Mirae Technology.  Nice!' he wrote alongside a picture of him inside the device.

The robot Bezos commandeered at this year's conference was unveiled by its South Korean designers in December.  

Measuring 13ft in height and weighing 1.6 tonnes, it is the first which allows humans to control its movement with their own bodies.

Bezos showed off its arm function on Monday but stopped short of taking it for a walk.

The glass cockpit appeared to be supported by some chains and the robot's legs remained planted on the stage at all times. 

Each of the robot's arms weigh a staggering 286lbs. Hankook Mirae Technology chairman Yang Jin-Ho said he had invested more than $200million in the product to 'bring to life what only seemed possible in movies and cartoons'.  

Bezos tested the robot's arm function by having it mimic his own movements from inside the glass cockpit  Bezos tested the robot's arm function by having it mimic his own movements from inside the glass cockpit 

Bezos tested the robot's arm function by having it mimic his own movements from inside the glass cockpit 

The top of the robot was supported by chains and its legs remained stationery throughout the stunt. It can walk and took its first steps last year but designers are still fine-tuning its leg function The top of the robot was supported by chains and its legs remained stationery throughout the stunt. It can walk and took its first steps last year but designers are still fine-tuning its leg function

The top of the robot was supported by chains and its legs remained stationery throughout the stunt. It can walk and took its first steps last year but designers are still fine-tuning its leg function

The Amazon CEO excitedly shared the moment with Twitter followers on Monday morning  The Amazon CEO excitedly shared the moment with Twitter followers on Monday morning 

The Amazon CEO excitedly shared the moment with Twitter followers on Monday morning 

It was designed by Vitaly Bulgarov who helped come up with the robotics seen in the Transformers, Robocop and Terminator.

It's not yet clear what the robot's intended use but they will be ready for sale at the end of this year.

The Machine Learning Automation, Robotics and Space Exploration conference (MARS) is a private event which is sponsored by Amazon and kept secret in advance.

It showcases new innovations in the world of artificial intelligence. 

Other devices shown off this year included Agility's Cassie, a robotic 'Ostrich' designed to make deliveries. 

The first was held last year in Palm Springs, California, where guests watched Bezos drink whiskey as he mingled with staff. 

It falls in line with the company's keen interest in both artificial intelligence and staff perks. 

Since last year, Amazon has announced its new drone delivery service and rolled out 45,000 Kiva robots to help with packing in warehouses.  

THE METHOD-2 ROBOT 

The Method-2 in the Gunpo lab where it was created in December  The Method-2 in the Gunpo lab where it was created in December 

The Method-2 in the Gunpo lab where it was created in December 

The Method-2 robot was unveiled in Gunpo in December as the world's manned, bipedal robot.

It is 13ft in height, weighs 1.5 tonnes and has cost more than $200million so far. 

With its arms outstretched, the robot is 23ft wide.

Creators Hancook Mirai showed off its limited walking ability last year in footage filmed in its lab. 

They have since insisted that it is still in its infancy and must, like humans, work up from baby steps to achieve its full leg function. They are also making tweaks to reduce the vibrations its heavy steps cause.

The robot is controlled from a glass pod in its torso where the human operator. 

One of the designers behind it is Vitaly Bulgarov who worked on the robotics seen in films such as Transformers, Robocop and Terminator. 

He was forced to defend the Method-2 in January when skeptics questioned whether it was real. 

'It was quite an ambitious project that required developing and enhancing a lot of technologies along the way,' he said. 

Designers have been quiet about what exactly the robot will be used for, but Bulgarov said it addressed 'real world problems'. 

They hope to sell the first models by the end of this year for $8million. 

 


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