South Korean robotics company’s impressively functional 13-foot-tall piloted mechanical suit

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South Korean engineers have created the robot straight out of every sci-fi buff’s dream: a walking, working mechanical suit that you can ride in and control.


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Hankook Mirae Technology showed off a working prototype of its 4 meter (13 foot) tall, 1.3-ton robot on Tuesday.


The robot, which looks like the fictional AMP suit from the movie Avatar, mirrors the movement of the operator’s arms.

Hollywood SFX artist Vitaly Bulgarov, the mech’s designer, controlling the robot’s 286-pound arms:

Like Avatar‘s AMP suit, which allowed humans to battle in the toxic air of Pandora, Hankook’s real-life version is also meant to enable humans to work in “extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go (unprotected),” the company said.


The mech was created with the help of SFX designer Vitaly Bulgarov, who’s done work on the Transformers, Robocop and Terminator movies, along with several World of Warcraft and Diablo video game titles.

Vitaly Bulgarov operating the mech suit.


Bulgarov posted several videos of the robot in action, noting that “the ground shakes” when the 1.5 ton robot walks.


Thank you all very much for kind comments and positive response! To answer one of the most common questions what is this for I’ll just say for now that from a mechanical/software/hardware/electric engineering stand point it was quite an ambitious project that required developing and enhancing a lot of technologies along the way. That growth opens up many real world applications where everything we have been learning so far on this robot can be applied to solve real world problems. (I’m not just talking bipedal robots) One of such projects is already in development, but I’m not allowed to say more at this moment. For those who thought it was fake here is a phone video where I walked too close to it and had to be pulled back lol #hankookmiraetechnology #koreafuturetechnology #robot #mech #walktest

A video posted by Vitaly Bulgarov (@vitalybulgarov) on

Here are the mech’s first steps with a human on board:

He said on Instagram that the “ambitious project” required developing technologies along the way that could go toward opening up more real world applications for engineers.

Hankook will spend 2017 refining it, including stabilising its balance while walking.

The company has spent an estimated 242 billion won ($200 million) over the past two years to develop the robot, and each one will eventually be priced at 10 billion won ($8.3 million) when they’re ready at the end of 2017.

Here’s an early iteration of Bulgarov’s design, which he posted on his website.




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A video posted by Vanicci Dunford (@vaniccilondon) on

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