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    Method-2’s pilot moves the robot’s arms using these controllers and its legs using foot pedals. It can also be piloted remotely.

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    Each of the metal arms weighs about 280 pounds.

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    When it’s not plugged in, the robot can run on battery power for almost two hours.

A Real-Life Transformer

locater map

It might look like a prop for the next Transformers movie, but Method-2, the world’s first manned, two-legged robot, is the real deal. The 13-foot-tall machine, currently being tested in a lab in South Korea, weighs 1.5 tons, has an arm span of 23 feet, and is piloted by a person sitting inside its massive torso. Engineers hope one day to put robots like this to use in manufacturing and ocean exploration, and on rescue missions too dangerous for humans to attempt unprotected. Why does Method-2 look like it just stepped off a movie set? It might have something to do with its designer, Vitaly Bulgarov, who created visual effects for movies like RoboCop and Ghost in the Shell. “Hollywood often gets out in front of reality,” says Mike Gennert, director of robotics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, “and we’re seeing reality catching up now.”

CREDITS: Jung Yeon-JE/AFP/Getty Images (robot); Jim McMahon (map)

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