Grant Imahara

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Grant Imahara
Grant Imahara by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Imahara in 2013.
Born Grant Masaru Imahara
(1970-10-23) October 23, 1970 (age 46)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of Southern California
  • Electrical engineer
  • roboticist
  • television host

Grant Masaru Imahara (born October 23, 1970)[1] is an American electrical engineer, roboticist, and television host. He is best known for his work on the American television series MythBusters, in which he often built the robots that were needed for the show and specialized in operating the various computers and electronics that were utilized to test myths.

Imahara currently stars in the Netflix series White Rabbit Project released on December 9, 2016.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Imahara is a graduate of the University of Southern California, with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.[3] For a time, he seriously considered switching majors, with the intention of becoming a screenwriter; he decided to stay on the engineering track after assisting Tomlinson Holman, a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.[4]

In December 2016, Imahara became engaged to his long-time girlfriend, costume designer Jennifer Newman.[5]


Early work[edit]

After graduation, Imahara was hired as an engineer for Lucasfilm's THX division; he then moved to the company's visual effects division, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), where he worked for nine years. While at ILM, he was involved in films such as The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 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, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Van Helsing, and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Imahara is credited in many feature films as a model maker. In particular, he is credited for his work in updating the aging R2-D2 robots for the Star Wars prequel trilogy.[6] As an official Artoo Technician, he makes a cameo appearance in the mockumentary R2-D2: Beneath the Dome.[7]


Imahara joined MythBusters on the invitation of friend and occasional employer Jamie Hyneman[8] 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.[9]

Other work[edit]

In addition to his role on MythBusters, he is known for his appearances on BattleBots, where he designed and competed with his robot Deadblow. He had a cameo appearance on Syfy's Eureka and the web series The Guild. Other well-known works include designing the circuit that creates the rhythmic oscillation of the arms of the modern Energizer Bunny;[6] leading Team ILM to victory in an appearance on Junkyard Mega-Wars; as well as authoring Kickin' Bot: An Illustrated Guide to Building Combat Robots (ISBN 0-7645-4113-7)[6]

Imahara was a cast member and story writer for the short film Architects of Evil, created for the 2004 Industrial Light and Magic Backyard Film Contest.[10] He mentors the Richmond High robotics team Biomechs #841 (Richmond Ca.) for the FIRST Robotics Competition, lending his expert guidance on how to create the right robot for the right job.[11] Imahara was profiled in the magazine IEEE Spectrum, in an issue focusing on engineering dream jobs. The article was titled "Grant Imahara: Debunker in The Box.;[12] he is shown in a fire-resistant suit on the cover.

One of Imahara's independent projects, during early 2010, was constructing a robotic sidekick for Craig Ferguson, host of The Late Late Show.[13] The robot, named Geoff Peterson, was unveiled on the April 5, 2010 Late Late Show episode and is controlled and voiced by comedian and voice actor Josh Robert Thompson.

Imahara was one of the players in the first episode of TableTop on the Geek & Sundry channel on YouTube on April 2, 2012[14] and made an appearance on the channel's show Spellslingers, hosted by Sean Plott. He made a cameo appearance on the final episode of Eureka, aired on July 16, 2012.

Imahara portrayed Mr. Sulu in the web series Star Trek Continues episodes "Pilgrim of Eternity" (2013) and "Lolani" (2014).[15][16][17]

Imahara was interviewed on TWiT's Triangulation (Episode 121) on 25 September 2013.

Imahara played Lt. Masaru in the 2015 movie Star Trek Renegades.

Since leaving MythBusters, Imahara has become a spokesman for McDonald's acting as an "investigator" who answers people's burning questions on McDonald's food. He has filmed videos on the production process of Chicken McNuggets, McRib, and McDonald's french fries.[18]

Imahara has also partnered with Mouser Electronics to kick off their "Empowering Innovation Together" campaign, where he will host several webisodes.[19]

In 2015, he appeared in the TV movie Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!.

In February 2015, Imahara made another appearance on the web series Table Top to play Dead of Winter: A Cross Roads Game.[20]

Imahara is taking an active part in advising Team USA in a giant-robot battle between American company MegaBots and Japanese company Suidobashi Heavy Industry.[21]


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 4, 2016). "Netflix Greenlights 'White Rabbit Project' Reality Series From 'Mythbusters' Producers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ "USC Alumni Association - Grant Imahara Class of '93". University of Southern California. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Mammy, Joe (May 27, 2007). "Have Soldering Gun, Will Travel". Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  5. ^ Casino, Khier (December 8, 2016). "Beloved MythBusters Host Proposes to Long-Time Girlfriend With $20,000 Ring". NextShark. Retrieved December 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Grant Imahara’s Hollywood Dream Machines
  7. ^ "Beneath The Dome - Credits". Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on June 24, 2008. 
  8. ^ Thomas, Christian M. (March 29, 2008). "'Mythbuster' Grant Imahara gives Northeast State audience lowdown on popular show". Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  9. ^ "'MythBusters' Cast Kari Byron, Grant Imahara & Tory Belleci Out". Latino Post. 
  10. ^ "ILM - Architects of Evil". Fan Films. TheForce.Net. April 2004. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  11. ^ Richmond High School Robotics Team
  12. ^ Svoboda, Elizabeth (February 2006). "Grant Imahara: Debunker in The Box". Spectrum. IEEE. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  13. ^ Hibberd, James (March 1, 2010). "Mythbuster: I can build Ferguson a robot sidekick". The Live Feed. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  14. ^ Small World: Wil Wheaton, Jenna Busch, Grant Imahara, Sean Plott. TableTop, Episode 1 on YouTube
  15. ^ "Cast and Crew - Star Trek Continues". Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  16. ^ Star Trek Continues, IMDB, retrieved 8 June 2013
  17. ^ "Star Trek Continues Webseries on Kickstarter". 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Dead of Winter: Ashley Johnson, Grant Imahara, and Dodger Leigh Join Wil Wheaton on TableTop S03E08". YouTube. Geek and Sundry. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  21. ^ Feeney, Nolan (August 19, 2015). "A Team of Americans Is Building a Giant Robot to Challenge Japan In Hand to Hand Combat". Time. Retrieved 2015-08-21. 

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