Ted Norman might seem like your average guy, if you met him on the street, or at his job, a garage where he is an auto mechanic. However, if you met him at his home, a 25-acre ranch that was previously used for corn tilling, you would be surprised.
That is because Mr Norman has, over the past ten years, been working on a giant robot.
The robot, a 1:1-scale working model of Evangelion Unit 01 from the well-known japanese anime "Neon Genesis Evangelion", is his "opus", Norman says. "Ever since I saw the show, I've been saying to myself 'Damn, I want one of those'."
The robot is controlled by a brain-computer interface, he says, which is based on the designs from a free electroencephelograph project he found online. "It was the last piece to fall in place, since the OpenEEG project was really recent. But if it wasn't brain-operated, it wouldn't be an Eva."
Mr Norman has been asked by US licensors ADV and Manga Entertainment, and (uncharacteristically) the United States Military, if he would be willing to produce the machines commercially. He refused, stating that it was a "labor of love", and that he "would not let commercial or national interests sully" this "beautiful and pure creation."
Evangelion director Hideki Anno had no comments, aside from this: "There is no end to the foolishness of fans. They will put years of their lives into creating a copy of something that was dreamed up in a few minutes by an artist without regard to practicality."
The scale model in Norman's personal hangar.