July 15, 2020
Today is a sad day for every maker and geek alike. Our kind has lost a most value player in the maker industry. Grant Imahara has gone to the best supplied workshop in the sky. I like to think that he has the best tools and parts he will ever need to make the greatest robot the heavens have known. I will miss his making ability and inspiration. He died suddenly following a brain aneurysm.
I watched his work for decades and he always inspired me. As many of you know, he was on MythBusters for the better part of a decade (2005-2018) and produced White Rabbit with Tory and Kari. He was the face of Mouser for many years; I felt good buying from them knowing they worked with Grant.
The shoes this man leaves behind, are impossible to fill. He has been apart of our lives and it’s hard to list in all the ways. Although, here are some but far from all projects he was part of: Project Robotics, Project Space Exploration, Project Home & Factory Automation (which is near and dear to my heart especially because of the A/C Controller I just finished), Project Driverless Cars (for anyone who has not watch MythBusters, this man could automate anything to drive by remote, therefore by a program), Project Portable Power. He was awarded the 2019 Telly and Communicator Award for Engineering Big Ideas in a 4-part series to uncover the inner workings of the innovation process.
Do you like movies? Me too. Like many I didn’t know how much of my movie watching “awe” was contributed to his ability and I will admit I’m not surprised in the least either. In his years at ILM, he became chief model maker specializing in animatronics (aka electronic wizard). He created visual effects for many movies like Matrix Reloaded, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Star Wars: Episode 1-3, T3, Galaxy Quest (I didn’t know this one and I’m going to watch this again simply to see his work in action), Star Trek Continues, Van Helsing, and A.I Artificial Intelligence.
As a respected mind of all things technology, he served as a judge in the 2016 ISS Design Challenge and for judged for BattleBots. I worked at Parallax years back when BattleBots was in full swing and we made the medals for the winners and Parallax was going to send some people down to deliver them. I has positioned myself as one of those people so I could meet Grant, as I had been a huge fan for years from MythBusters. Sadly, at the last minute, Parallax decided not to send any representatives down, and I lost my chance to meet him. I am a maker and have been so for decades with many accomplishments, but nowhere near as accomplished as Grant in any aspects. The reassuring thought for me is from all his colleague’s respects, he would have still been as friendly, open and respectful to me even though he was a giant and I a simple man in this maker industry I enjoy so much.
He will be missed greatly.