Japan’s 60-Foot Robot Is Filmed Moving For The First Time

If you thought the only thing that could make 2020 worse was giant rampaging robots, you might not be too happy to know what people are working on in Japan. Gundam Factory Yokohama is currently in the process of bringing a 60-foot robot to life, and judging by the latest video, it’s getting ever closer to completion. Thankfully, it’s not being built for destructive purposes.

From Fiction To Reality

The robot in question is one that you may recognize if you’re familiar with Japanese TV shows and manga. It’s a replica of the Gundam mecha that’s been around in East Asian media for decades now. Work only began on the robot back in January, and despite the crisis that’s been plaguing the world this year, it’s only a few months away from completion. Evidently, the people at Gundam Factory Yokohama work fast.

Learning To Move

Judging by the new video, the physical structure of the robot is all but complete. Now, the main concern is getting it to function like a real machine. The factory recently tested out the robot’s ability to move, and although it didn’t walk anywhere, it did lift up its legs and rotated its torso. That’s quite an achievement already for just a few months of work, even if the prospect of a 60-foot robot walking around is a little terrifying.

Ready For Display

By the end of the project, the Gundam robot should be able to move with 24 degrees of freedom. It will apparently reside in the port of Yokohama for a year, where people will be able to marvel at the astounding creation. Let’s just hope that everyone stays on its good side because, with a weight of 25 tons, it could easily crush us all.

Given Japan’s history with robotics, we’re not surprised they’ve managed to create this towering masterpiece. We’ve got everything crossed that they’re able to complete it on time.

Instagram Lite Reboot Squeezes Into a Package of Just 2 MB

The Instagram Lite app on an Android phone

Facebook has just released Instagram Lite. It’s a stripped-down version of the image-sharing platform designed for users in emerging markets. It’s developed by Facebook’s team in Tel Aviv, which is also the birthplace of Messenger Lite and Facebook Lite. The package size of the app is only 2 MB.

The team that designed Instagram Lite said that the focus with this application, just like their other launches, was on users whose smartphones lack processing power, reliable data, and of course, storage capacity. To reach this size, the app focuses on images, messaging, and video, ditching other features and flourishes that fade into the background on the full-fat version of the app.

the Instagram logo

Some Features Are Removed

The app still has the main feed, as well as the ephemeral messaging feature cribbed from Snapchat – Stories, but not Shopping or IG Live. Gal Zellermayer, who is the engineering manager, said that as well as live filters and other AR effects that are unable to work on low-power devices, animations have been edited down. He cited the example of the cube animation that’s seen when swiping between Stories on different users, a very data- and processor-intensive transition that didn’t work well on older devices, which had been removed. He also added that a lot of extra compression work was handled on the server aside to relieve the burden of the device itself.

Instagram Lite interface Instagram Lite Is Space-Efficient and Fun!

Product manager Michelle Lourie explained that there were a number of additional UI tweaks to meet the needs of “new digital users.” This included removing the trash can that represents a Delete icon, in favor of a simple X, which testers found made more sense. In addition, Lourie said that Stickers and GIFs remain part of the app because, unlike AR filters, they were space-efficient while remaining fun. She also said that the team was currently working on Dark Mode – a feature that countless users were requesting long before Instagram Lite was released.