EDIT: Thanks for all the questions and comments as usual, reddit! Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. See you at the next AMA or on Twitter at @grantimahara!

Hi, Reddit, it's Grant Imahara, TV host, engineer, maker, and special effects technician. I'm back from my Down the Rabbit Hole live tour with /u/realkaribyron and /u/tory_belleci and I just finished up some work with Disney Imagineering. Ask me about that, MythBusters, White Rabbit Project, Star Wars, my shop, working in special effects, whatever you want.

My Proof: https://twitter.com/grantimahara/status/938087522143428608

Comments: 1750 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

HairyPotta1787 karma

Do you play computer games? If so, what are some of your favorites?

Grant-Imahara4197 karma

I'm level 204 on Overwatch. I main Pharrah and Bastion (Bastion is making a comeback) as well as Soldier and Symmetra. EDIT: I will play Bastion and Symmetra on Attack, depending on the map.

throwawaydakappa362 karma

I love Overwatch, what's your rank in comp?

Grant-Imahara2004 karma

To be 100% honest, I tried comp and found it too stressful. I like to play mystery heroes because everyone isn't playing their main and it's more fun.

greiger132 karma

No dwarf fortress though?

Grant-Imahara371 karma

I like paying Torb on mystery. I also like the voice like "I'm giving it all I got!"

slinkslowdown1345 karma

Are there any myths you wish you could have covered on Mythbusters but that weren't practically feasible?

Grant-Imahara3248 karma

The holy grail is the upside-down race car. By virtue of its design, an Indy race car has enough downward force at speed to run inverted. Just needed (1) a helical track (2) an Indy race car and (3) a driver.

drunkcowofdeath1277 karma

I've been rewatching Mythbusters lately and one scene that gets replayed a lot through the series is you and Tori arguing over whether or not you "always use the blue rope" when towing cars. What is never shown is who was actually right. Who was right?

Grant-Imahara2131 karma

We always use the blue rope.

PkCEBC1210 karma

How was it to work on Star Wars and then be involved with a Star Trek fan film?

Grant-Imahara1810 karma

Literal dream come true. Working on R2-D2 was a life achievement. As was playing TOS-era Sulu. I remember sitting in my Sulu costume, at my console, on the beautiful Enterprise bridge set, being SOO giddy because I couldn't believe I was doing it.

joeysuf1150 karma

If you had once chance to time travel what period would you go to?

Grant-Imahara1680 karma

Renaissance, maybe? I think it would be cool to visit Leonardo daVinci's shop.

joeysuf525 karma

Follow up question! Which inventor would you want to meet?

Grant-Imahara1209 karma


_UnderscoreMonty_470 karma

Shucks I thought it was Leonardo daVinci

fps916349 karma


Grant-Imahara456 karma

Well, of course daVinci too!

emisnug1103 karma

Hi Grant - thanks for doing another AMA! Would you ever consider returning to Battlebots? (or combat robotics in general?) If not, why not? If maybe.... what would you build?

Also, your book on robotics has been a great help over the last couple of years.

Grant-Imahara1444 karma

I might make a return to combat robotics. In the time since I actively competed, the technology has changed so much. The motors and batteries are significantly better. It's a fun but demanding hobby. When I look back at it, I was a much younger man. With apparently a lot more free time!

islandsimian237 karma

Grant, with the advancement of AI, shouldn't the really competitive levels of Battlebots be completely autonomous?

Grant-Imahara575 karma

I'm not comfortable with autonomous BattleBots yet. I saw a few matches of fully autonomous fighting robots and it was terrifying (because they were basically hunting around semi-blind looking for a beacon).

MrAcurite217 karma

Did you ever chat about Battle bots with Jamie? What was your take on Blendo?

Grant-Imahara628 karma

I actually first met Jamie at Robot Wars circa 1995. Blendo was fearsome in those days. He was actually asked to leave a competition because Blendo was deemed too dangerous to the audience. They gave him the trophy, of course.

krystynlo1065 karma

What work were you doing for Disney Imagineering?

Grant-Imahara2409 karma

Due to non-disclosure agreements, I cannot say the exact nature of my work, but safe to say it was a robot.

Nugatorysurplusage2398 karma

it was a robot

Lawsuit filed

Grant-Imahara3044 karma


Charles_Skyline462 karma

Does it Rhyme with Far Tours?

Grant-Imahara661 karma


delorean225922 karma

What new technologies or other recent innovations are you excited about right now? How do you think it will make our lives easier?

Grant-Imahara1505 karma

Self-driving cars. Foldable LCD panels. LCD contact lenses.

forestdragon04730 karma

We’ve heard about Adam and Jamie’s relationship on Mythbusters being civil but that they weren’t friends outside of the show. Did that ever effect production and what are your relationships with Tori and Kari like in real life?

Grant-Imahara1720 karma

That statement is often misconstrued. They have mutual respect but don't hang out after work. But there's no "bubbling animosity" that's often implied. Since I was always at M7, I didn't often have the chance to interact with A+J, but watching them solve a problem in real time is really cool, actually. They do not bring ego into the suggestions.

Before starting on Mythbusters, I'd already known and worked with Adam, Jamie, and Tory for many years, and worked with Kari briefly. We weren't thrown together as a group of hosts, and I think you can see that chemistry.

I'm friends with Tory and Kari in real life as well, though it's harder to hang out since I've moved down to Los Angeles.

turnerm121684 karma

Any chance that another White Rabbit Project like show happen with you, Tori, and Kari?

Grant-Imahara1211 karma

There's always a chance. Sadly, there will be no season 2 of WRP on Netflix. Their focus at the moment is scripted series that are binge-able.

duglarri611 karma

So here's the plan: a WRP-based superhero series. By day, you, Tori, and Kari build robots. At night you fight crime.

Grant-Imahara1852 karma

That would never work. IT'S TOO CLOSE TO REALITY.

dermasbroo621 karma

If you can build an impossible machine (machines that goes against the law of physics), which would you like to build?

Grant-Imahara1202 karma

Perpetual motion/free energy machine

PutinsButtCheeks594 karma

What personal engineering project would you undertake if funding was not a problem?

Grant-Imahara1045 karma

Giant bipedal fighting robot. RobotJox style with live armaments!

Bardfinn445 karma

Follow up — one kaiju-sized duck or 100 duck-sized kaiju?

Grant-Imahara794 karma

100 duck-sized kaiju LOL

JPHamlett579 karma

What was your favorite myth from a building perspective?

Grant-Imahara739 karma

Two of my favorites from later episodes were the Earthquake Shake Table and Tennis Wing Walk. The earthquake table was cool because it required a giant air bearing (cushion of air like air hockey). The tennis wing walk required me to design a giant wing structure that we welded to a flat bed pickup. I was neat because of the sheer scale of it all.

trdeeney413 karma

Are you turning into a crazy cat person?

Grant-Imahara686 karma

I'm apparently already there. That is Dipper. She was a rescue cat. She is a polydactyl (extra toes).

Dethedrus331 karma

Now you just need a Mabel to complete the pair...

Grant-Imahara633 karma

10 points for Gryffindor! Yes, Dipper was in fact named after Gravity Falls.

pokeszombies394 karma

Did you ever try a myth where you got to the end thought "Well that was disappointing"?

Grant-Imahara987 karma

Squash Weightlifter. A growing pumpkin is supposed to have enough force to lift a car. We had champion giant pumpkin seeds and high-tech hydroponics. We couldn't grow a damn thing. Never made it to air.

othybear380 karma

What would your dream cosplay be?

Grant-Imahara694 karma

My cosplays tend to be uniform-based. My two favorites right now are my BSG Viper pilot flight suit and the Star Trek Wrath of Khan-era ("monster maroon") Sulu.

2664887777113 karma

Follow up question Kirk or Picard?

Grant-Imahara386 karma

I grew up with Next Gen. Inner Light and Darmok FTW

GaiusFrakingBaltar332 karma

Do you have any advice for someone trying to get their foot in the door for doing movie props/costumes/set, etc apart from just taking whatever you can get at first?

I have a sizable portfolio, and really have to work my butt off to get involved with any project, which tend to just end with little to no leads after it is done.


Grant-Imahara577 karma

If you've done a few projects and have a portfolio, congrats! You're ahead of the game. Now get your portfolio scanned into a PDF. Work on a professional cover letter. Email it out to any shops your can find. Scan movie credits for names and other leads. Do some detective work and get your name out there.

Carolus99298 karma

What steps would you suggest for kids interested in robotics to turn their hobby into a career?

Grant-Imahara416 karma

Start with a kit. When I was growing up, I had Lego (not even Mindstorms). Gotta start somewhere!

bmandudeman60 karma

Have you heard of FTC or FLL?

caltemus85 karma

Yeah he was actually at the world champs in st louis a few years back

Grant-Imahara203 karma

Also, I was a mentor for Team 841 in Richmond, CA for four years.

FlyByPC290 karma

Hi, Grant. I miss seeing you on Mythbusters -- you always had (and usually made) the coolest toys.

What do you think is the coolest thing about Making / electronics? What about the hobby/profession excites you the most?

Bonus question if you have time: What in your opinion makes for a good vs. not-so-good electronics course? (I teach, and am always looking to improve.)

Grant-Imahara310 karma

Giving something the appearance of life. That's the most rewarding part of animatronics for me.

coconutheadphones288 karma

What was your favorite part of the 'Down the Rabbit Hole' tour? Would you do it again?

Grant-Imahara398 karma

The best part of the tour was interacting with my friends in front of a live audience and hearing them laugh and cheer. For our finale, we create a giant cloud of nitrogen and walk through it to do our bows.

[The worst part is the travel. New city every day.]

SoonToBeHasBeen249 karma

Did you get Geoff Peterson back from Craigy, or did that become the property of his production? Shouldn't Geoff have his own TV show by now? What's the hold up?

Grant-Imahara407 karma

Actually, I get asked what happened to Geoff a lot. Last Christmas, I was at Craig's christmas party and I asked him. He said, "would you like to see him?" and I said "yeah" so we went to Craig's personal office, and there was Geoff, sitting in a chair. So he's safe and sound with Craig.

SoonToBeHasBeen180 karma

It makes me happy to hear that they are still together. It was clear that Craig and Geoff had a "special" relationship.

Grant-Imahara285 karma

One of my great regrets is that we were planning on adding a pelvic thrust to Geoff (without telling Craig). This was right before they announced Craig leaving the show.

winnie_the_fuck220 karma

Have you ever consider doing youtube videos?

I Bet you could do some sick science videos with Vsauce and a lot of people

Greetings from Argentina, here we still see mythbusters on discovery

Grant-Imahara496 karma

I've thought about it. I don't really like editing, so it involves a bit more effort than I want to exert. I do like livestreaming and have considered starting a Twitch channel.

Cat1832186 karma

Hi Grant! Big fan of your stuff, both as a Mythbuster... and a tabletop gamer! Loved watching you play that Dracula game with Wil Wheaton :) Will we get to see you do more tabletop stuff in the future? (Would love to get you on Critical Role as a guest, haha, or other Geek&Sundry stuff!)

Grant-Imahara276 karma

I would love to do more stuff with Wil and Geek & Sundry! I'm also friends with Matt and Marisha. It all comes down to scheduling and whether they've got an opportunity.

thisismyhaendel157 karma

Are you actually afraid of spiders (or other creepy-crawlies)? I remember an episode of MythBusters where you seemed more than a little nervous to be surrounded by them :)

Grant-Imahara469 karma

Yes. And NEVER tell a television producer what ACTUALLY scares you.

ThatOneRoadie137 karma

Hey Grant! A pleasure to be able to chat with you today!

As we all know, Adam has a small warehouse in the San Francisco Mission District an undisclosed location near the south of France that he has loaded with shop equipment, tools, and other treasures of jobs and movies past.

My question to you then is, do you have any such space that you do hobbies, tinkering, and/or robotics in? I can't recall having seen one that you have posted (but it's entirely possible that I'm one of today's lucky 10,000 and I would love to be proven wrong!). I'm sure more than a few of us would like a photo/video tour!

As a side question, do you have any advice for makerspaces that are on a bit of a tighter budget (I ask as a member of a 501(c)3 makerspace in Denver with a lower member count)?

And finally, what is the one tool or piece of equipment that you think every single shop should have?

Cheers, and thanks for reading!

Grant-Imahara286 karma

I have my own shop. My tools include multiple 3D printers (Ultimaker and Zortrax), a laser cutter, a Tormach CNC machine, birdgeport mill, industrial lathe, and welding equipment. I put together the shop after leaving MB because I always wanted a place where I could make things. In fact, the mill is the same mill I used on MB. They let me buy it after we shut down M7.

GFY_EH135 karma

What was the experience like working for Disney?

Grant-Imahara266 karma

Very cool. I was working with Disney Research. We were building quick prototypes and testing ideas and making changes on the fly. Very much like how we did things on Mythbusters. Also, they have the most impressive shop I've ever seen.

DarkestJediOfAllTime133 karma

Do you still offer your services to the film industry post-Mythbusters?

Grant-Imahara266 karma

There aren't many opportunities for practical models or animatronics in movies these days. That's why I've been consulting for Imagineering.

ben_schwimmer106 karma

Do you build robot friends?

Grant-Imahara272 karma

Yes, I'm working on a personal BB-8 and R2-D2 right now.

nolanater571198 karma

What build did you make that legitimately terrified you?

Grant-Imahara222 karma

The big nitrogen cannon that flipped over a car for one of the james bond episodes. I designed and built it, but I had to crawl underneath to arm it. Nitrogen gas sits at about 3000 psi and has huge energy potential.

MacguffinSeeker98 karma

Do you use a 3D printer in your builds? If so which one do you recommend for general applications?

Grant-Imahara131 karma

I've had great luck with my Ultimaker 2+extended for PLA and Zortrax for ABS.


Hi Grant, how you answer this question will determine your status on reddit.

Toilet paper: over or under?

Grant-Imahara318 karma

Over, obviously.

delta982677 karma

What equipment would you want from games, movies, etc to have in your life?

Grant-Imahara219 karma

I want Tony Stark's shop. Automated assembly line FTW

soultypenut75 karma

Is Netflix more or less restricting than Discovery?

Grant-Imahara201 karma

Discovery was very involved in the making of the show. There was a dedicated executive producer and they reviewed all our episodes and provided notes. We had to be careful about content (family-friendly channel) and we couldn't any brand names (Kleenex, Xerox, Leatherman) because they wanted compensation if we promoted any of those names. By comparison, Netflix was relatively hands-off. Another interesting quirk is that we weren't allowed to actively promote White Rabbit Project UNTIL it was actually live on Netflix. No "coming soon" or anything like that. I was told this was because they wanted someone to hear about it and then be able to immediately log on to Netflix and watch it.

anonymustanonymust72 karma

Do you own any Bitcoins or crypto-currencies?

Grant-Imahara152 karma

No, I had a friend many years ago who was trying to make a career mining. The technology leapt too fast and he couldn't get it going. They are super volatile currencies, which makes me a little wary.

Hmolds69 karma

If battlebots was scaled up to use remote controlled cars, modified with weapons. Which car and weapons would you use?

Grant-Imahara140 karma

Something with a low center of gravity, and a robust frame. Maybe a mustang. Or a police cruiser. I would have dual miniguns. Rockets are too hard to aim.

gr0c3ry64 karma

Let's go back to 1999. Which did you like more: the Playstation or the Nintendo 64? What was your favorite game?

Grant-Imahara169 karma

Playstation. Resident evil 2 FTW. Played in the dark with all drapes closed.

SoonToBeHasBeen61 karma

Have you ever thought of doing a building camp to teach kids (or kids of all ages :-)? My 8 and 12 year old daughters would love to go to something like that!

Grant-Imahara148 karma

Kari Tory and I briefly considered some kind of Myhtbusters summer camp where you could get the MB experience. In addition to the obvious liability problems, there were licensing concerns, etc. So it was a fun idea but ultimately not feasible.

asc8459 karma

If you had to pick a favorite between Adam or Jamie, which one would it be and why? (In terms of working with AND personality)

Grant-Imahara279 karma

That's a tough one. I have so many common interests with both. As a movie prop geek, I definitely share a lot with Adam. He's also active in many of the geekerati (is that word?) circles that I hang in. Working with Adam is sometimes challenging because he is very fast, but it also means he's like a tornado whipping through the shop leaving a trail of devastation LOL

Jamie and I share a keen fascination with mechanics and we could talk for hours. (In fact, insider info: Jamie has a few code words that will trigger him into deep discussion. Magnets, for one LOL) Working with Jamie is very quiet and methodical. When alone, Jamie often plays music in his shop. Sometimes classical, sometimes whatever is on the radio.

So, sorry. Can't choose just one.

zek_056 karma


Grant-Imahara216 karma

OLD school: Cowboy Bebop and Full Metal Alchemist New stuff: Your Name, Netflix Voltron is also pretty good

Upe12346 karma

What programing languages do you know to code in?

Grant-Imahara94 karma

My first language was Applesoft BASIC. So I'm good with most forms of BASIC. In college I studied PASCAL and FORTRAN (but not C, to my undying shame). Finally picked up C and Arduino variations recently.

irishtulsan197745 karma

What was it like on the last day of Star Trek Continues? and Favorite Star Trek phaser prop

Grant-Imahara79 karma

Very emotinal. THe whole week, actually, because as each cast member would do their final scene, it would be announced and the whole cast and crew would applaud.

xXFiniteXx44 karma

Favorite car that you dealt with while filming Mythbusters?

Grant-Imahara108 karma

That Chysler Imperial (Black Beauty) from Green Hornet. It was a shame we had to destroy it. I still feel bad about that.

damn_jexy40 karma

Hi Grant ! Big fan here ... What's is your secret to never age ??

Grant-Imahara145 karma

I moisturize.

The_Opponent39 karma

Whenever I see the name Grant Morrison, I always think of you first. Do other people confuse you with him or is it just me?

Grant-Imahara87 karma

We actually have a common friend in LA (a photographer) and we were at his party and he introduced us. I knew who he was immediately because he's got a unique look. Not sure he knew who I was tho. But we bonded over being named Grant.

bananaplasticwrapper38 karma

Can you weld?

Grant-Imahara68 karma

Yes, though I do not have certification. And I really need to practice my TIG welding more.

KaraCorvus32 karma

Hi Grant! I just wanted to say thank you for chatting with me at that short film premiere party in the same building as your workshop. I was the scientist turned actress and it was wonderful how friendly and open you were to showing me your workshop and discussing the whole acting/science dichotomy we both shared. It was such a pleasant surprise because I grew up watching Mythbusters and Battlebots. Thank you for always being such a positive influence in the industry as well as being a wonderful, down to earth person!

To elaborate on that, do you ever feel like one industry ever overshadows the other in your life, or have you figured out a way to balance both your engineering/science side with your actor/entertainer side?

Grant-Imahara39 karma

Hey Kara! Was it the western one? That was fun.

Fortunately, my Imagineering gig allows me to take time off to do TV projects, so it's still a nice balance. I've been actively keeping the skills sharp since Mythbusters by building my own projects (like BB-8).

Lobolobito28 karma

Whats the oddest music genre or song you'd recommend?

Grant-Imahara80 karma

Too Many Zoos

missingthemessage27 karma

Is Jamie really as grumpy as TV makes him out to be?

Grant-Imahara66 karma

He's not grumpy when he's not on camera (usually) LOL

pandanip25 karma

Is anyone else allowed to use the calculator with your name on it?

Grant-Imahara43 karma

Yes, absolutely. My name is on it so that it finds its way back to me.

SeraphAP17 karma

Do you ever work with Laser engravers/cutters? Any preference for any specific type or brand of laser system?

Grant-Imahara11 karma

I have a Universal Laser and I love it!