Rideable Robots

Technology Trends & Culture - July 31st, 2012

This isn’t Tokyo Game Show – you aren’t looking at a mock-up of how the latest Halo game might look in real life. This is Kuratas, the rideable robot which Japanese electronics company Suidobashi Heavy Industry showed off at the Wonder Festival in Chiba this weekend.

The beast, controlled by its ‘pilot’ – or remotely from a smart-phone using a 3G network – can move at an ‘incredible’ 10km/h, and is equipped with a LOHAS Launcher weapons system which, designed to be ‘eco friendly and safe for humans will, from time to time, hit its target.’ The tongue-in-cheek specifications and features don’t end there.

A BB gun is also fitted to the Robot, which will detect the face of your target and fire when you smile. Laugh too much at all this and you could unwittingly begin a BB firing spree. Take a look at the video which the company posted explaining everything from how to board to what to do if the robo-vehicle collapses.

Is this the millionaire’s ultimate executive toy? They would need to stump up around $1.25 million but would be able to choose from 16 colours. Just in case they would feel riding a heavily armoured robot with 30 hydraulic joints around the streets of Japan if it only came in grey.

Kuratas facilities

A warning on the website of Kuratas’ creators offers us a little clue as to what all this means. Do they see an apocalyptic vision of the future in which we all need to protect ourselves? Are we to be playing robot-war games in the streets? Not quite.

“Kuratas is an art piece. It is not a normal vehicle so it does not guarantee your safety and comfort. However, it makes your dream of becoming a robot pilot come true.”

One last piece of advice for purchasers – who may have to wait a couple of days before accessing the Suidobashi Heavy Industry website, which is experiencing ‘over capacity issues’ due to hoped-for worldwide coverage:

Jumping off of the Kuratas is ill-advised