Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Jordan Vogt-Roberts to Helm Netflix’s Live-Action Gundam Movie

(Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)Jordan Vogt-Roberts to helm Netflix’s live-action Gundam movieIt has been four years since the successful release of Kong: Skull Island, and now director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has finally found his next big project with Legendary. Vogt-Roberts has officially signed on to direct the studio’s first-ever live-action feature film version of Gundam for Netflix, which will be based on the universe of Sunrise’s iconic Japanese robot franchise.This marks Legendary and Netflix’s latest collaboration together, the two companies previously worked on films such as 2016’s Spectral and last year’s Enola Holmes as well as shows like Lost in Space and Pacific Rim: The Black. They are also currently working on the anime series adaptation of Skull Island and Tom Raider.RELATED: Netflix’s Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Series Wraps Production!Plot details for the Netflix film are being kept under wraps but the original Gundam series is set in the Universal Century, an era in which humanity’s growing population has led people to emigrate to space colonies. Eventually, the people living in the colonies seek their autonomy and launch a war of independence against the people living on Earth. Through the tragedies and discord arising from this human conflict, not only the maturation of the main character but also the intentions of enemies and the surrounding people are sensitively depicted. The battles in the story, in which the characters pilot robots known as mobile suits, are wildly popular. The Gundam universe is replete with numerous storylines of love and conflict along with the popular Gundam battles, in which the characters operate robot suits called Mobile Suits.The live-action Gundam film will be penned by Brian K Vaughan. It will be produced by Vogt-Roberts with Vaughan set as executive producer. Legendary’s Cale Boyter will oversee the project along with the Sunrise creative team. The project was actually first announced in 2018 at the Anime Expo.RELATED: Sony & Netflix Ink First-Pay Streaming Licensing DealCreated by Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino, the franchise first started in 1979 with the TV series titled Mobile Suit Gundam. The massively popular Mecha anime and science fiction media franchise is Sunrise’s multi-billion-dollar property that has spawned a multi-platform universe encompassing televised anime, manga, animated films, video games, plastic models, toys, and novels among other media. Gundam continues to dominate Bandai Namco’s earnings almost forty years after its inception.
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    Polestar's EV concept can be an adorable three-wheeled cargo sled latest

    At this point in its history, Volvo’s Polestar brand is best known for making upscale EVs like the $60,000 Polestar 2. That’s what makes its latest project, Re:Move, so unusual. It’s a three-wheeled electric sled that came out of a remote collaboration between the automaker, industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, electric motorcycle maker Cake, aluminum manufacturer Hydro and Wallpaper Magazine. The group says they set out to re-envision what last-mile delivery could look like in a post-pandemic world. Re:Move is the result of that collaboration. Polestar There aren't many details on the EV just yet, but Polestar says it's designed to be compact enough to drive in most bike lanes while carrying approximately 600 pounds of cargo. The frame is also made from fully recycled aluminum. As a cyclist, I’m not sure how I feel about sharing a bike lane with what is essentially an oversized e-bike, but at least it’s better than a parked FedEx or UPS truck forcing cyclists into a car lane. What’s more, Polestar seems serious about turning Re:Move into something that could eventually make its way to city streets. The company says it will unveil a working version of the Re:Move this fall. In the meantime, it will host an SXSW session detailing the work that went into the design on March 17th.

    Kia showcases the EV6, the initial vehicle predicated on its new electric platform

    Kia has given us a shadowy look at its soon-to-be-launched electric vehicle, the EV6, which is the automaker's first model based on the E-GMP platform. The company has published a few teaser photos of the model, and as Autoblog notes, they show the silhouette of a four-door crossover with curved lines and stylized LED lights. Kia first teased the EV6 back in January, when it revealed its plans to ship seven electric vehicles by 2027 and when it officially dropped "Motors" from its name as part of its efforts to become a company that creates "sustainable mobility options." Kia The automaker shares the E-GMP platform with its part-owner, the Hyundai Motor Group. Thus far, all their EVs had been adapter from existing platforms, but the E-GMP will allow them to build their own electric models from the ground up. Vehicles built on the E-GMP will be capable of charging at either 400V or 800V. They will have a range of about 500 kilometers (310 miles) and be able to charge "80 percent in just 18 minutes" with the ability to add 100 km (62 miles) of driving range within just five minutes of being plugged in. Also, they'll have bidirectional charging capability, allowing them to draw power from the grid or empty their batteries' power back to the grid during peak usage hours. Hyundai's recently launched Ioniq 5 is also based on the E-GMP and, with the EV6, is one of the 23 upcoming models that will be built on top of the platform. In addition to teasing the EV6, Kia has also revealed its new naming scheme for electric vehicles. Going forward, all the automaker's fully electric models will start with the prefix "EV" followed by a number that corresponds to the car's position in the lineup. Autoblog says Kia will launch the EV6 on March 15th, so you won't have to wait that long to see what the car actually looks like. KiaKia

    Tesla is creating a 100MW energy storage project in Texas

    Under the radar, Tesla is building an energy storage project in Texas, according to Bloomberg. In Angleton, a town of nearly 20,000 located 40 miles south of Houston, Tesla subsidiary Gambit Energy Storage is installing the company’s modular Megapacks. When complete, the 100MW installation will be able to power approximately 20,000 homes. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) told Bloomberg the site could begin operating as soon as the start of June. It’s unclear why Tesla is using a subsidiary as the public face of this project. It’s not the first of its kind undertaking for the company. In 2017, it built a 100MWh battery farm in South Australia. At the moment, it’s also supplying California’s Pacific Gas and Electric with Megapacks for its in-progress Bay Area Moss Landing project. But there’s no mistaking the timing of the project. Last month, unprecedented winter weather left much of Texas without electricity. When the power grid buckled, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to mock ERCOT. “Not earning that R,” he said of the organization, which manages approximately 90 percent of the state’s power grid and has come under intense scrutiny following last month's near failure. Notably, Musk was asked by one of his followers if a battery storage project similar to one Tesla built in Australia was possible in Texas. “Yes,” he said.

    China five-year plan aims for supremacy in AI, quantum computing

    China's tech industry has been hit hard by US trade battles and the economic uncertainties of the pandemic, but it's eager to bounce back in the relatively near future. According to the Wall Street Journal, the country used its annual party meeting to outline a five-year plan for advancing technology that aids "national security and overall development." It will create labs, foster educational programs and otherwise boost research in fields like AI, biotech, semiconductors and quantum computing. The Chinese government added that it would increase spending on basic research (that is, studies of potential breakthroughs) by 10.6 percent in 2021, and would create a 10-year research strategy. China has a number of technological advantages, such as its 5G availability and the sheer volume of AI research it produces. This is one of the few countries where completely driverless taxis are serving real customers. In that light, the country is really cementing some of its strong points. However, this may also be a matter of survival. US trade restrictions have hobbled companies like Huawei and ZTE, in part due to a lack of cutting-edge chip manufacturing. The US also leads in overall research, and the Biden administration is boosting spending on advancements for 5G, AI and electric cars. As experienced as China is in some areas, it risks slipping behind if it doesn't counter the latest American efforts.

    Canada shall invest billions to electrify mass transit

    Mass transit isn't getting much use during the pandemic, but Canada wants to be sure it's eco-friendly when the crisis is over. The Canadian government plans to invest $2.75 billion CAD (about $2.17 billion US) into electrifying mass transit across the country over five years.This will include buying more zero-emissions buses in addition to other initiatives, officials said. The effort is part of a larger $14.9 billion CAD ($11.77 billion US) public transportation upgrade package. Existing programs have already supported buying 300 eco-friendly buses, but this will help the government reach its goal of a much larger rollout of 5,000 buses over that five-year period. Not surprisingly, the government hopes this environmental move will also create jobs for Canadian bus makers like Nova Bus, GreenPower and New Flyer. The challenge, of course, is delivering a meaningful impact. While Canada's relatively small population and concentration in a handful of large cities could help the money go far, there's no guarantee this will let transportation outfits switch completely to EVs or hydrogen. It could give them the push they need, though, and success in Canada could give the US and other countries an example of how to electrify their own transit fleets.

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