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Grant Imahara, speaker

Grant Imahara

    • Former Host on Discovery’s Mythbusters & Animatronics Engineering Expert
Full Bio
Fee Range

$15,000 - $20,000

Travels From

California

Interview

Interview

Grant Imahara is recognized as the electronics and robots expert from Discovery Channel's Mythbusters. Using a blend of science and fun, he and his colleagues put urban legends to the test, sometimes with explosive results. He continues bringing his unique skills to the White Rabbit Project on Netflix. He has hosted Punkin Chunkin and Killer Robots for Science Channel and has appeared on Junkyard Wars and Comedy Central’s BattleBots. He can also be seen playing Lt. Sulu in the critically acclaimed webseries Star Trek Continues.

Before his career in front of the camera, Grant spent nine years working behind the scenes in special effects as an animatronics engineer and modelmaker for George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic. He worked on numerous blockbusters including The Matrix sequels, A.I., Galaxy Quest, Terminator 3, Van Helsing, and Star Wars: Episodes 1-3. He’s worked on some of the most famous movie and TV robots of all time, putting the lights in R2-D2's dome for the Star Wars prequels and giving the Energizer Bunny his beat. He created the irreverent robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Grant has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has been on the cover of ROBOT Magazine, IEEE Spectrum, and MAKE Magazine. Over the years, he has garnered numerous official commendations from various organizations, including the City of Los Angeles, the City of San Francisco, and The White House. He is currently consulting for Walt Disney Imagineering, working on next-generation robots to go into Disney’s theme parks around the world.

Behind the Scenes of Mythbusters

For almost a decade, Grant Imahara was one of the hosts of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters. Using a blend of science and fun, he put urban legends to the test, sometimes with explosive results. Since joining the team in January 2005, Grant tested hundreds of myths, and in the process, swam with sharks, hung from the skids of a helicopter, fired cheese out of a cannon into the San Francisco Bay, allowed 25 tarantulas to crawl on his head, dropped a BMW from an aircraft, sliced a car in half using a rocket sled, destroyed so many cars he's stopped counting, and built many, many robots, all in the name of science.

 

The Special Effects of Star Wars Episodes 1-3

Before becoming a Mythbuster, Grant worked in movie special effects as an animatronics engineer and modelmaker for George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic in Marin County, California. He specialized in electronics and radio control at the ILM Model Shop, and has credits on numerous movies, including Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Galaxy Quest, AI: Artificial Intelligence, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Matrix: Reloaded and Revolutions, and most recently, Van Helsing and Star Wars: Episode III.

He installed electronics in the R2-D2 units for Star Wars Episodes I and II, replacing the halogen light source and rotating color wheel (for the sparkly displays) with a custom microcontroller-based LED circuit that was originally created to make the pulsating lights for the main engines of the Protector, from Galaxy Quest. He also upgraded all of the radio equipment and speed controls to modern standards. Along with R2-D2 Crew Chief Don Bies and Nelson Hall, he was one of only three official R2-D2 operators in the United States.

Speaking Topics:

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