The FANUC Corporation generated industry buzz this week when its engineers successfully developed the world’s first large-scale mech controllable by human pilots. The machine utilizes the capabilities of two pilots in tandem — one male and one female — by balancing the strengths of both pilots.
FANUC claimed that while the mech is theoretically fully functioning, the unit has yet to have been operated by human pilots due to sheer awkwardness. Due to limited space for humans within the main cabinet, FANUC engineers were forced to place the two pilots in uncomfortably close proximity.
“While working on the first prototype, we had to make many compromises in order to make two human pilots work with the design,” designer Yasato Tomeo told Anime Maru. “At first the pilots just had to wear skin-tight suits in order to to fit into the cabinet. However, with each stage of development we had to keep moving the two pilots closer and closer together.”
The final design of the mech cockpit positions the female pilot leaning over in front of the male pilot while wearing an electronic hood that carries the display for the second pilot. With no dedicated space left for controls, the main control handles were mounted on the female pilot’s hips, utilizing the electronics already present in the suit. The male pilot position remained upright but forces the operator to straddle his copilot in an awkward manner in order to get to the controls.
“So far we haven’t actually been able to get anyone to get in it,” stated Engineer Wakamura Royo. “The guys here in engineering were so concerned with getting it working that we failed to realized we don’t actually know any girls.”
FANUC later stated it intended to salvage the project by scrapping the current human operated design and going with an AI-controlled 2D assistant which would handle pilot operations. “2D is greater than 3D after all,” Tomeo concluded. “I wish we would have realized that sooner.”