- Jeff Bezos piloted the Method-2 robot at an Amazon-sponsored conference in Boston on Monday
- He excitedly told Amazon staff that he felt like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens
- The MARS conference showcases artificial intelligence innovations for Amazon staff
- The Method 2 robot was built in South Korea and unveiled by designers last year
- It is the first ever built that can mimic its human operator’s bodily movements and walk
With more than 45,000 of them working across Amazon warehouses, CEO Jeff Bezos is more familiar with robots than most.
But the billionaire was still overcome with excitement as he piloted a towering, 13ft bionic skeleton at a secret technology conference in Boston on Monday.
Controlling the beast from a glass cockpit in its robot’s chest, Bezos played around on stage as Amazon staff watched on in awe.
He won enthusiastic laughter from the audience when he joked: ‘Why do I feel so much like Sigourney Weaver?’, a reference to the actress’s iconic performance in the 1986 film Aliens when she was filmed commandeering a similar device.
Overjoyed by the experience, Bezos took to Twitter to share it with fans and give them a glimpse in to the MARS conference, an event sponsored by Amazon.
‘I just got to pilot an awesome (and huge) robot thanks to Hankook Mirae Technology. Nice!’ he wrote alongside a picture of him inside
The Machine Learning Automation, Robotics and Space Exploration conference (MARS) is a private event which is sponsored by Amazon and kept secret in advance.
It showcases new innovations in the world of artificial intelligence.
Other devices shown off this year included Agility’s Cassie, a robotic ‘Ostrich’ designed to make deliveries.
The first was held last year in Palm Springs, California, where guests watched Bezos drink whiskey as he mingled with staff.
Bezos tested the robot’s arm function by having it mimic his own movements from inside the glass cockpit
The top of the robot was supported by chains and its legs remained stationery throughout the stunt. It can walk and took its first steps last year but designers are still fine-tuning its leg function
The Amazon CEO excitedly shared the moment with Twitter followers on Monday morning
It falls in line with the company’s keen interest in both artificial intelligence and staff perks.
Since last year, Amazon has announced its new drone delivery service and rolled out 45,000 Kiva robots to help with packing in warehouses.
The stunt took place at a private conference arranged by Bezos to showcase technological innovation in front of Amazon staff and industry leaders
The robot Bezos commandeered at this year’s conference was unveiled by its South Korean designers in December.
Measuring 13ft in height and weighing 1.6 tonnes, the Method-2 is the first which allows humans to control its movement with their own bodies.
Bezos showed off its arm function on Monday but stopped short of taking it for a walk.
The glass cockpit appeared to be supported by some chains and the robot’s legs remained planted on the stage at all times.
Each of the robot’s arms weigh a staggering 286lbs. Hankook Mirae Technology chairman Yang Jin-Ho said he had invested more than $200million in the product to ‘bring to life what only seemed possible in movies and cartoons’.
It was designed by Vitaly Bulgarov who helped come up with the robotics seen in the Transformers, Robocop and Terminator.
It’s not yet clear what the robot’s intended use but they will be ready for sale at the end of this year.
THE METHOD-2 ROBOT
The Method-2 in the Gunpo lab where it was created in December
The Method-2 robot was unveiled in Gunpo in December as the world’s manned, bipedal robot.
It is 13ft in height, weighs 1.5 tonnes and has cost more than $200million so far.
With its arms outstretched, the robot is 23ft wide.
Creators Hancook Mirai showed off its limited walking ability last year in footage filmed in its lab.
They have since insisted that it is still in its infancy and must, like humans, work up from baby steps to achieve its full leg function. They are also making tweaks to reduce the vibrations its heavy steps cause.
The robot is controlled from a glass pod in its torso where the human operator.
One of the designers behind it is Vitaly Bulgarov who worked on the robotics seen in films such as Transformers, Robocop and Terminator.
He was forced to defend the Method-2 in January when skeptics questioned whether it was real.
‘It was quite an ambitious project that required developing and enhancing a lot of technologies along the way,’ he said.
Designers have been quiet about what exactly the robot will be used for, but Bulgarov said it addressed ‘real world problems’.
They hope to sell the first models by the end of this year for $8million.