The Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a party which has the second-most seats in the Japanese Diet, are discussing "the Gundam Development Project, as seriously considered by the Liberal Democratic Party” on a NicoNico livestream. Yep. Apparently, part of the party’s manifesto is the goal of realizing Gundam-style piloted, walking robots.
Surprisingly (?) they’re not the only ones who seem to have taken an interest in creating a real Gundam-style robot. In a 2007 symposium, the tech branch of the Self-Defense Force had an exhibit called “Toward the Realization of Gundam” at a defense technology symposium. In 2008, the Japan Science and Technology Agency created a report estimating how much a real Gundam would cost to build.
So…it rather looks like they could actually make a real Gundam. What we have to ask is “why?” Maybe if it flew in space there would be some type of application, but earth-bound I think its uses are pretty limited. Japanese netizens had a variety of perspectives:
“This is how they are going to spend our newly raised consumption tax?”
“Why not start by making some robots which can clean up after a nuclear accident, morons.”
“Forget about useless bipedal bots, make something more useful.”
“Humanoid development allows artificial limbs and other good stuff. It’s good for Japan to follow its own direction, compared to the US and China and company, who are all on the same track.”
“People ridiculing this are the same people who would have been ridiculing the car a century ago!”
“Encouraging robotic development is great, but there really is not likely to be any merit in pushing bipedal ones.”
“Gundams would be useless in a real war. If their intent is anything more than to curry favour with otaku they should start looking at what would be.”
“Well, Gundam is just a symbol. Any idiot can see they are useless. They must be talking about promoting the robotics industry.”
“They are just trying to get your votes, guys.”
The last comment is odd: are mecha otaku that important of a voter base to get on your side? It seems weird that the LDP would even talk about this if they weren’t actually interested in following through, because it’s such a strange plan to begin with. Then again, this is Japanese politics we’re talking about.
Honestly, followers, what do you think? Possible? Good idea? Totally insane? Tweet your opinion @GoBoiano!
Sources: SanCom and ANNComments
The toilet paper pictured above was a hit in Japan, selling over 300,000 volumes in 2009 and 2010. Pretty good for a specialty toilet paper that is probably too scary for you to read in the bathroom…all alone…because this paper is printed with a novella by Koji Suzuji (author of The Ring, Dark Water). The novella, called The Drop (pun intentional?) is indeed a horror story, and spans three volumes…er, rolls, of toilet paper.
In just two days, on June 21st, this product will be available in English for about $7.88. That’s a bit steep for toilet paper, but pretty darn reasonable for a novella. It seems that Hayashi Paper, the company behind this product, is interested in selling it overseas and is developing sales avenues. For me, this is too weird not to pick up when it’s available. I’ll let you know when I find out where it’s being sold.
Via: Tokyopop, Source: Rocket News 24Comments