A machinery maker creates a huge robot measuring 8.5 meters high. (Video by Manabu Ueda)

SHINTO, Gunma Prefecture--In his childhood, Masaaki Nagumo loved the “Mobile Suit Gundam” robot anime series.

Now, as an official of industrial machinery maker Sakakibara Kikai here, he hopes that his huge bipedal robot, called the LW-Mononofu, will fulfill the dreams of children like he once had and also promote his company.

“It (LW-Mononofu) is just a toy,” Nagumo, 44, said. “But I want people to experience the world of anime and exercise their imagination through it. I will be happy if many people enjoy the robot.”

The LW-Mononofu humanoid, which is 8.5 meters tall and weighs 7.3 tons, now stands in a Sakakibara Kikai plant at the foot of Mount Harunasan.

Although the company, headed by President Hajime Sakakibara, describes the LW-Mononofu as a toy, the robot is equipped with a cockpit for a pilot so it can walk on two legs.

Sakakibara Kikai, which produces animal excrement processing machines for dairy farming and other types of machinery, began developing toy robots as part of efforts to improve its employees’ skills and promote the company.

It developed a robot called the Landwalker, which measures 3.4 meters in height in 2005, drawing considerable attention both in Japan and abroad.

Sakakibara Kikai in 2011 started creating the latest, improved LW-Mononofu model, which is nearly as tall as the ceiling of the firm’s plant.

Nagumo designed the humanoid, created computer programs, and assembled and painted the body almost entirely on his own. The entire process took him about six years.

While the LW-Mononofu is powered by both a 200-volt AC electricity source and a 24-volt DC battery.

Its cockpit can accommodate only one person, and the pilot needs to be raised with a lift to the cockpit six meters above the ground. The back of the robot can be opened, so the pilot will be seated in the driver’s space.

The cockpit is outfitted with monitors showing footage shot by cameras installed at five points on the body, and the pilot can manipulate the robot with levers, pedals and buttons.

Not only its fingers can be moved but also the LW-Mononofu can turn its upper body to change its direction of travel. An air cannon held in its right hand can shoot a toy ball at a target.

Although the LW-Mononofu can walk backward and forward by sliding its feet, its speed is as slow as less than 1 kph.

Nagumo said he could not determine the LW-Mononofu’s head design even after the project entered the final phase. Based on advice from various people, he finally decided to put a “kabuto” helmet on its head in the image of a samurai and adopt light-emitting diodes so its eye can shine. Mononofu means samurai.

While Sakakibara Kikai has not disclosed how much it spent developing the LW-Mononofu, it will consider leasing the new robot to event organizers and others in the future, if certain conditions are met.