Indonesian Scientist Helps Design Giant Gundam Robot

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  • A Gundam mecha robot, a robot model kit from Japan. TEMPO/Fahmi Ali

    A Gundam mecha robot, a robot model kit from Japan. TEMPO/Fahmi Ali

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian scientist involved in making the giant Gundam robot in Japan, Pitoyo Hartono, said that he was asked to be part of the project semi-jokingly.

    Shuji Hashimoto, a physics engineering professor at Waseda University who lead the project, phoned him, laughing. "Please help me, we will do something 'baka-bakashi', which roughly means silly—something that people will make fun of," Pitoyo said retelling their conversation.

    Hashimoto is the vice chancellor at Waseda University where Pitoyo studied. It is one of the oldest universities in Japan. However, said Pitoyo, Hashimoto happily left his comfort zone for the project.

    "He's not worried that people would ridicule him for making a giant robot straight out from an anime," he told Tempo on Friday, November 23.

    Pitoyo himself is a professor of artificial neural networks in the Department of Mechanics and Information at Japan's Chukyo University.

    Shuji Hashimoto is the leader of the Gundam Global Challenge—a worldwide talent search to design an 18-meter, full-scale Gundam robot that can move. There are many sciences, techniques, and elements of art in this project.