Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda, is a character from The Mandalorian. According to the Star Wars Disney Plus original television series, Grogu is a toddler of the same unnamed species as Yoda and Yaddle, with whom he shares a powerful Force ability. But did you know that an animatronic Baby Yoda was created to bring hope to sick children?
Former Mythbuster Grant Imahara built a fully animatronic Baby Yoda months before his untimely death. He planned to bring the project to hospitals to cheer up sick children. He spent three months of his time designing, programming, and 3D printing it.
Who is Grant Masaru Imahara?
Grant Masaru Imahara was an American electrical engineer, roboticist, and television host who was born on October 23, 1970. He was best known for his work on the television show MythBusters, where he designed and built a slew of robots and specialized in using computers and electronics to debunk myths.
Imahara graduated from the University of Southern Carolina (USC) with a degree in electrical engineering. He initially wanted to switch majors and pursue a career in screenwriting but ended up staying on the engineering path. (Source: Joe Mammy)
Unfortunately, Imahara passed away on July 13, 2020, at the early age of 49, from a ruptured intracranial aneurysm. The Gran Imahara STEAM Foundation was announced by this mother and colleagues on his supposed 50th birthday. (Source: Hollywood Reporter)
What are the Functions of Grant Imahara’s Animatronic Baby Yoda?
As of now, the Baby Yoda bot can only present a pre-programmed sequence of moods and reactions, but once completed, it will be able to respond to environmental stimuli. So far, the best thing we’ve seen the Baby Yoda bot do is respond to a chicken nugget on Twitter.
While this is the first time we’ve seen Baby Yoda recreated as a professional-grade animatronic, it’s only the tip of the Cloud City in terms of the amount of merch based on the doe-eyed alien that’s recently come out. Baby Yoda’s face can be found on everything from prints to dolls to overalls. He even owns a waffle maker. (Souce: Nerdist)
How Much Did it Cost to Build the Animatronic Baby Yoda?
Imahara’s animatronic Baby Yoda wasn’t nearly as expensive as the Baby Yoda puppet used in the series. The puppet cost production around $5 million. In fact, most of the props like the lightsabers, land speeders, and others used in The Mandalorian series cost a fortune. While the actual price for Imahara’s Baby Yoda has not been revealed, we can assume that it came at a cost. (Source: Nerdist)
What Cultural Impact does Baby Yoda Have?
Several writers referred to Grogu as a pop culture phenomenon, emphasizing the adoration it had received from social media fans. Baby Yoda was dubbed 2019’s biggest new character by The Guardian. Some critics noted that Grogu’s fandom transcended age and experience and that few fictional characters have united entire fan bases in the way that Grogu has.
Baby Yoda is the hottest thing in the universe.Bryan Alexander, Entertainment Reporter, USA Today
In an era of divisiveness on nearly every issue, there appears to be unanimity in admiration for this tiny alien creature.Anthony Breznican, American Journalist, Vanity Fair