TOKYO (Reuters) - Videos showing an 18-metre (59-foot) robot in the Japanese harbour city of Yokohama have entranced the Twitterverse, pulling in more than 6 million views in the past week.
The robot is the centerpiece of the Gundam Factory Yokohama, a tourist attraction that was due to open in October, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The park operator said on Tuesday it will open on Dec. 19.
The videos, shot by a telephoto lens from Twitter user @yoshi115t, show what appear to be motion tests of the white robot that dwarfs boats speeding by in the background. The 25-tonne Gundam makes a walking motion as it exits a storage area, before kneeling and then raising its right arm to point toward the sky.
The park's Gundam-Lab will feature an exhibition area and cafe, while the Gundam-Dock Tower will allow visitors to view the robot's face and body.
"Mobile Suit Gundam" debuted in Japan in the late 1970s as a cartoon about enormous battle robots piloted by humans. The series spawned multiple spinoffs and toys while gaining a worldwide following.
The Gundam franchise is operated by Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. Engineering company Yaskawa Electric Corp and industrial robot maker Nabtesco Corp are among companies making parts of the giant Gundam in Yokohama, according to the attraction's website.
(Reporting by Akiko Okamoto and Rocky Swift in Tokyo; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)