Automation, Robotics, Visits

Electrical e-Library on Gundam Factory

I was in Yokohama, Japan, and I visited the Gundam Factory, where there’s a full-size Gundam, with 18 meters (59 ft) and 25 tons (55115 lb).

In 1979, was released on television the anime Mobile Suit Gundam. This franchise became very popular in the entire world, producing more than 70 TV series, movies, games, etc. Most of the series have different protagonists, stories, and universes, in addition to different Gundam models. The inauguration of Gundam Factory Yokohama was on December 19, 2020.

The open space

The entrance of Gundam Factory.
gundam on dock tower
In open space, it’s located the Dock Tower, where is the full-size RX-78F00 Gundam.
waiting area
The waiting area is where groups of people wait to enter Dock Tower and where food trucks are sold.
Yokohama city view from Gundam Factory.

The robot is connected to Dock Tower for support and receives electric energy for components. Below are videos of movements seen from open space.

The Gundam Lab

This section inside the building, shows Gundam’s development, including project, structure, and what is behind the motions.

A model showing how the hand’s fingers move.
gundam model with magnets
The Gundam is supported by frames, which serve as a skeleton. There are 17 frames in total and it’s completely made of steel. This is a model with magnets to the visitor assemble pieces to the frames.
gundam model with magnets
The completed model.
Gundam model on Dock Tower
Robot and Dock Tower models in scale.
Models’ evolution, from 1990 to 2020, from the right to left. They are in 1:100 scale.
Models of high mobility gundams.

The videos below show a robot assembling a Gunpla, a model of the franchise’s robot. There are two short videos because the maximum limit of YouTube short is only one minute.

gundam simulator
This is a simulator, you can send fixed commands to a virtual Gundam, or control it to create your pose.

How did the Gundam move?

Servomotors (in black in image below) move the Gundam. Controller (white on left), sends motion commands to the amplifier (white on right), which in turn, sends signals to move the servo. The latter has a rotation sensor to send readings to the amplifier, that sends data motion to the controller. The Mechatrolink protocol makes the communication between components.

Smaller servomotor moves the ankle, while the bigger one moves the thighs.

The servomotors have a precision of 0.0003º and were manufactured by Yaskawa Electric Corporation, which also developed the Mechatrolink. Servos are connected to a reduction gear set, to reduce speed and increase torque.

The reduction gear set was manufactured by Nabtesco. This is the precision model RV, to greatly increase torque with the gears’ reduced size.

4487 meters (14721 ft) of wire make the energy and signal transmission to controllers and actuators.

Inside the Dock Tower

To enter Dock Tower, you must pay for an additional ticket, choose a time to enter, and go up by an elevator, following the staff’s instructions, who conduct groups of people to two floors. The video below shows the movements seen from inside Dock Tower.

Other installations

On the first floor, there is a shop that sells gunplas, themed clothes, and souvenirs. On second floor, there is a restaurant and a conference room, where videos about the giant robot construction are shown.

About Pedro Ney Stroski

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