My roommate’s an interesting guy. He’s into Gundam. Like, room-filled-with-models into Gundam. And he’s dragged me into his robot otaku world. So I had to mention this project when it came up. A roboticist from the Future Robotics Technology Center in Japan, Takayuki Furuta, has done cost-estimates of what it would take to build a full-size, functional Gundam robot. Some impossible parts, namely the alloy Gundanium and solar furnaces, would be replaced by modern analogues, aluminum alloy and 7 Apache gas turbines, respectively. The whole thing will cost roughly US$742 million, a small price for a giant robot, I suppose. Furuta hopes to have a 4-meter version up and running by 2011, if I’m still nearby in 3 years, I might have to make a pilgrimage.