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Jeff Bezos Looks a Little Too Happy Piloting a Giant Mechanical Robot

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James Vincent reports: Add this to the growing pile of evidence the world is slowly transitioning into a sci-fi dystopia: a billionaire entrepreneur with a sideline in building space rockets has been showing off by piloting a 13-foot-tall robot.

Amazon CEO and fifth richest person in the world Jeff Bezos got behind the wheel (well, dual joysticks) of the bot at the retailing giant’s annual robotics conference. He tweeted out the picture above earlier this morning saying, “I just got to pilot an awesome (and huge) robot thanks to Hankook Mirae Technology.” Other attendees videoed the event, and Bezos can be seen waving around the robot’s arms and asking: “Why do I feel so much like Sigourney Weaver?” Reports that he then told the crowd to “bow down before your new king and master, Metal Jeff” are unsubstantiated.

Bezos was showing the robot off at MARS — an annual, invite-only conference run by Amazon and dedicated to machine learning, home automation, robotics and space exploration. The robot is the Method-2, and first came to public attention last December when videos and pictures of the bot circulated online. It’s built by a South Korean company named Hankook Mirae, and if it looks like it stepped straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster (it bears a striking resemblance to the bipedal robots in Avatar) that’s because one of its designers, Vitaly Bulgarov, is a concept artist who’s worked on films like Ghost In the Shell and Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.

This fact and a few others have led some to suggest that the Method-2 is actually an elaborate hoax. (This article from Live Science last December lays out the case.) Certainly we’ve only seen the bot move its arms and take a few shaky steps, but as this footage shows, the thing itself is very real. … (read more)

via The Verge

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