Host of White Rabbit Project; Former Cast Member on Discovery's MythBusters
Before becoming a Mythbuster, Grant Imahara was 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,…
Before becoming a Mythbuster, Grant Imahara was 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 has installed electronics in R2-D2 units for Star Wars Episodes I and II, replacing the halogen light source and rotating color wheel (for the sparkly lights) 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 is one of only three official R2-D2 operators in the United States.
Grant developed a custom circuit to cycle the Energizer Bunny’s arm beats and ears at a constant rate. He performed all electronics installation and radio programming on the current generation of Bunnies. He later became the Bunny’s driver and the Crew Supervisor on numerous commercials in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Grant has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. He picked up his mechanical skills from the machinists at the ILM Model Shop, many of whom date back to Howard the Duck (1986).
For fun, Grant has competed in Comedy Central’s BattleBots with his robot “Deadblow”, which he designed and built. Deadblow won two Middleweight Rumbles and was the Middleweight runner-up in 2000. It set a record for most number of hits in the first season of the show, and was ranked number one in Season three.
In 2003, Wiley Technology Publishing released Grant’s book Kickin’ Bot: An Illustrated Guide to Building Combat Robots. At 528 pages long, it is regarded by many combat robot-building enthusiasts as the “bible” for that sport. It has a five-star average customer review on Amazon.com.
Grant appeared on TLC’s Junkyard Wars in a two-hour special called “Junkyard Wars Goes to the Movies” as the captain of Team ILM. They created a 13-foot tall R2-D2 out of junk in 20 hours that was equipped with a flamethrower, hydraulic lifting arm and CO2 pneumatic projectile gun. Team ILM won the competition, which challenged the junkyard machines to destroy a fleet of attacking aliens with their various weapons.
Most recently, Grant built the rude and often irreverent robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson for the popular CBS late night talk show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Imahara joined MythBusters on the invitation of friend and occasional employer Jamie Hyneman and former ILM colleague Linda Wolkovitch, who is now an Associate Producer of MythBusters. He joined as the third member of the Build Team, replacing former MythBusters welder Scottie Chapman. His colleagues often jokingly refer to him as the “geek” of the Build Team. He often makes the robots that are needed for the show and otherwise specializes in operating the computers and electronics for the myths. On August 21, 2014, Hyneman and MythBusters co-host Adam Savage announced that Grant, along with cast members Kari Byron and Tory Belleci, would be leaving the show.
After MythBusters, Grant started the Netflix series White Rabbit Project. On this show, he investigates topics such as jailbreaks, superpower technology, heists, and crazy World War II weapons, which are explored through experiments, builds, and tests.
In the later years, Grant worked as a spokesperson for McDonald’s. He used to answer people’s question about the fast food giant’s food and he used to clear the myths regarding the food. He also made a short film about production of food in the unit. In 2015, he appeared on the show, Dead of Winter: A Cross Roads Game and he had also been the advisor for Team USA. He advised the team regarding the concepts and innovation regarding the robots and Robot-War.
Grant’s skill set includes electronics design and fabrication, machining, welding, woodworking, CAD layout, pneumatics, CNC programming, and laser cutting, as well as some moldmaking and paint.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
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