News & Politics

Here’s Jeff Bezos Playing Around in a Huge Robotic Suit

How did you spend your weekend? If you’re Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, you spent part of it inside a 14-foot-tall robotic suit.

Bezos, overseeing Amazon’s annual technology conference, hopped inside the contraption, which is manufactured by South Korea’s Hankook Mirae Technology. While the suit, known as the Method-2, was held in place by chains descending from the ceiling, Bezos appeared able be able to use his own arms to make the giant robotic arms flail about.

According to the Verge, Hankook Mirae has said little about the Method-2 since it first appeared last year, and it’s entirely possible the suit—designed in part by an artist who worked on the Transformers film series—could be more of a marketing ploy than a glimpse of humanity’s brutal future serving robots. Still, the links to science-fiction war machines were inevitable, with Bezos himself asking the crowd “Why do I feel so much like Sigourney Weaver?” referring to the P-5000 Power Loader Ellen Ripley uses to defeat the Xenomorph queen at the end of Aliens.

Still, others have compared Bezos’s new toy to less benevolent armored suits, including Iron Monger, built by Iron Man nemesis Obadiah Stane, and the exoskeletons used by the colonizing forces in Avatar.

It’s unclear what Bezos’s intentions for the robotic suit are. Perhaps a last line of defense in case the whole “Democracy dies in darkness” thing goes wrong?

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.